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Characterizing the Common Prior Assumption

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  • Joseph Y. Halpern

    (Cornell University)

Abstract

Logical characterizations of the common prior assumption (CPA) are investigated. Two approaches are considered. The first is called frame distinguishability and is similar in spirit to the approaches considered in the economics literature. Results similar to those obtained in the economics literature are proved here as well, namely, that we can distinguish finite spaces that satisfy the CPA from those that do not in terms of disagreements in expectation. However, it is shown that, for the language used here, no formulas can distinguish infinite spaces satisfying the CPA from those that do not. The second approach considered is that of finding a sound and complete axiomatization. Such an axiomatization is provided; again, the key axiom involves disagreements in expectation. The same axiom system is shown to be sound and complete both in the finite and the infinite case. Thus, the two approaches to characterizing the CPA behave quite differently in the case of infinite spaces.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 0004009.

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Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: 22 Nov 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0004009

Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on Unix; pages: 12; figures: included
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: common prior assumption; agreeing to disagree; disagreement in expectation; frame distinguishability;

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References

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  1. Robert J. Aumann, 2010. "Correlated Equilibrium as an expression of Bayesian Rationality," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000377, David K. Levine.
  2. Morris, Stephen, 1995. "The Common Prior Assumption in Economic Theory," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(02), pages 227-253, October.
  3. Ronald Fagin & Joseph Y. Halpern & Yoram Moses & Moshe Y. Vardi, 2003. "Reasoning About Knowledge," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262562006, December.
  4. Feinberg, Yossi, 2000. "Characterizing Common Priors in the Form of Posteriors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 127-179, April.
  5. Dov Samet, 1997. "Common Priors and Separation of Convex Sets," Game Theory and Information 9701002, EconWPA.
  6. Morris, Stephen, 1994. "Trade with Heterogeneous Prior Beliefs and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1327-47, November.
  7. Faruk Gul, 1998. "A Comment on Aumann's Bayesian View," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 923-928, July.
  8. Robert J Aumann, 1999. "Agreeing to Disagree," Levine's Working Paper Archive 512, David K. Levine.
  9. Giacomo Bonanno & Klaus Nehring, 1999. "How to make sense of the common prior assumption under incomplete information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 409-434.
  10. Robert J. Aumann, 1998. "Common Priors: A Reply to Gul," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 929-938, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bonanno, Giacomo, 2004. "Memory and perfect recall in extensive games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 237-256, May.
  2. Heifetz, Aviad & Meier, Martin & Schipper, Burkhard C, 2009. "Unawareness, Beliefs and Speculative Trade," MPRA Paper 18437, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Khan, M. Ali & Sun, Yeneng & Tourky, Rabee & Zhang, Zhixiang, 2008. "Similarity of differential information with subjective prior beliefs," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(9-10), pages 1024-1039, September.
  4. Halpern, Joseph Y., 2010. "Lexicographic probability, conditional probability, and nonstandard probability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 155-179, January.
  5. Lehrer, Ehud & Samet, Dov, 2014. "Belief consistency and trade consistency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 165-177.
  6. Halpern, Joseph Y. & Pass, Rafael, 2013. "Conservative belief and rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 186-192.
  7. Heifetz, Aviad, 2006. "The positive foundation of the common prior assumption," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 105-120, July.
  8. Lipman, Barton L., 2010. "Finite order implications of common priors in infinite models," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 56-70, January.
  9. Klaus Nehring, 2003. "Common Priors For Like-Minded Agents," Economics Working Papers 0035, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.

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