A Model of Path-Dependence in Decisions over Multiple Propositions
AbstractDecisions or arguments over multiple interconnected propositions are path-dependent if they depend on the order in which the propositions are considered. I develop a model of sequential decision or argumentation processes over multiple propositions, focussing on so-called modus ponens processes. I prove three main results. (1) Path-dependence occurs if and only if an individual’s or a group’s initial dispositions on a set of propositions violate deductive closure. (2) If we impose universal domain, anonymity and decisiveness on a (collective) modus ponens decision process, path-dependencies are unavoidable. (3) Path-dependence makes sequential decision or argumentation processes vulnerable to manipulation by changes of the decision-path and to manipulation by expression of untruthful views on the propositions. I discuss three escape-routes from the problem of path-dependence: the unanimity approach, the dictatorship approach, and the domain restriction approach.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Economics Papers with number 2002-W15.
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 20 May 2002
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Web page: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/
Other versions of this item:
- Christian List, 2002. "A Model of Path-Dependence in Decisions over Multiple Propositions," Economics Series Working Papers 2002-W15, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
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- NEP-ALL-2002-07-31 (All new papers)
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