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Public Disagreement

  • Rajiv Sethi
  • Muhamet Yildiz

We develop a model of deliberation under heterogeneous beliefs and incomplete information, and use it to explore questions concerning the aggregation of distributed information and the consequences of social integration. We show that when priors are correlated, all private information is eventually aggregated and public beliefs are identical to those arising under observable priors. When priors are independently distributed, however, some private information is never revealed, and communication breaks down entirely in large groups. Interpreting integration in terms of the observability of priors, we show how increases in social integration lead to less divergent public beliefs on average. (JEL D82, D83, Z13)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 57-95

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:57-95
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.4.3.57
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  1. Yeon-Koo Che & Navin Kartik, 2009. "Opinions as Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(5), pages 815-860, October.
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  19. Shubham Chaudhuri & Rajiv Sethi, 2008. "Statistical Discrimination with Peer Effects: Can Integration Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 579-596.
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