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Public Disagreement

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  • Rajiv Sethi
  • Muhamet Yildiz

Abstract

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)

Suggested Citation

  • Rajiv Sethi & Muhamet Yildiz, 2012. "Public Disagreement," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 57-95, August.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Buechel, Berno & Hellmann, Tim & Klößner, Stefan, 2015. "Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 240-257.
    2. Rajiv Sethi & Jennifer Wortman Vaughan, 2016. "Belief Aggregation with Automated Market Makers," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 48(1), pages 155-178, June.
    3. Alonso, Ricardo & Câmara, Odilon, 2016. "Bayesian persuasion with heterogeneous priors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 672-706.
    4. Wolfgang Kuhle, 2013. "A Global Game with Heterogenous Priors," Papers 1312.7860, arXiv.org.
    5. Azomahou, T. & Opolot, D., 2014. "Beliefs dynamics in communication networks," MERIT Working Papers 034, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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