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Belief consistency and trade consistency

  • Lehrer, Ehud
  • Samet, Dov

Interpersonal consistency can be described in epistemic terms as a property of beliefs, or in economic terms as the impossibility of certain trades. The existence of a common prior from which all agentsʼ beliefs are derived is of the first kind. The non-existence of an agreeable bet, that is, a contingent zero-sum trade which is always favorable to all agents, is of the second kind. It is well established that these two notions of consistency are equivalent for finite type spaces but not for countable ones. We present three equivalences of epistemic consistency and economic consistency conditions for countable type spaces, defining in this way three levels of consistency of type spaces: weak consistency, consistency, and strong consistency. These three levels coincide in the finite case. We fully analyze the level of consistency of type spaces based on the knowledge structure of Rubinsteinʼs email game. The new notion of belief consistency introduced here helps to justify the requirement of boundedness of payoff functions in countable type spaces by showing that in a large class of spaces there exists an agreeable unbounded bet even when a common prior exists.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 83 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 165-177

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:83:y:2014:i:c:p:165-177
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Hellman, Ziv, 2011. "Iterated expectations, compact spaces, and common priors," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 163-171, May.
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  8. Robert J. Aumann, 1998. "Common Priors: A Reply to Gul," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 929-938, July.
  9. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1989. "The Electronic Mail Game: Strategic Behavior under "Almost Common Knowledge."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 385-91, June.
  10. Samet, Dov, 1998. "Common Priors and Separation of Convex Sets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 172-174, July.
  11. Feinberg, Yossi, 2000. "Characterizing Common Priors in the Form of Posteriors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 127-179, April.
  12. Heifetz, Aviad, 2006. "The positive foundation of the common prior assumption," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 105-120, July.
  13. Morris, Stephen, 1994. "Trade with Heterogeneous Prior Beliefs and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1327-47, November.
  14. Rubinstein, Ariel & Wolinsky, Asher, 1990. "On the logic of "agreeing to disagree" type results," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 184-193, June.
  15. Hellman, Ziv, 2007. "Iterated Expectations, Compact Spaces and Common Priors," MPRA Paper 3794, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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