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Fact-Free Learning

  • Enriqueta Aragones
  • Itzhak Gilboa
  • Andrew Postlewaite
  • David Schmeidler

People may be surprised to notice certain regularities that hold in existing knowledge they have had for some time. That is, they may learn without getting new factual information. We argue that this can be partly explained by computational complexity. We show that, given a knowledge base, finding a small set of variables that obtain a certain value of R2 is computationally hard, in the sense that this term is used in computer science. We discuss some of the implications of this result and of fact-free learning in general.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282805775014308
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 95 (2005)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1355-1368

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:5:p:1355-1368
Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282805775014308
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Anderlini, L. & Felli, L., 1993. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," Papers 183, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
  2. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Aragones, E. & Gilboa, I. & Postlewaite, A. & Schmeidler, D., 2001. "Rhetoric and Analogies," Papers 2001-15, Tel Aviv.
  4. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L & Rustichini, Aldo, 2001. "Representing Preferences with a Unique Subjective State Space," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 891-934, July.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521802345 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Itzhak Gilboa, 1990. "Philosophical Applications of Kolmogorov's Complexity Measure," Discussion Papers 923, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Kreps, David M, 1979. "A Representation Theorem for "Preference for Flexibility"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 565-77, May.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521003117 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Bray, Margaret M & Savin, Nathan E, 1986. "Rational Expectations Equilibria, Learning, and Model Specification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1129-60, September.
  10. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L. & Rustichini, Aldo, 1998. "Recent developments in modeling unforeseen contingencies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 523-542, May.
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