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Half empty, half full and why we can agree to disagree forever

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  • Zimper, Alexander

Abstract

Aumann [Aumann R., 1976. Agreeing to disagree. Annals of Statisitics 4, 1236-1239] derives his famous we cannot agree to disagree result under the assumption that people are expected utility (=EU) decision makers. Motivated by empirical evidence against EU theory, we study the possibility of agreeing to disagree within the framework of Choquet expected utility (=CEU) theory which generalizes EU theory by allowing for ambiguous beliefs. As our first main contribution, we show that people may well agree to disagree if their Bayesian updating of ambiguous beliefs is psychologically biased in our sense. Remarkably, this finding holds regardless of whether people with identical priors apply the same psychologically biased Bayesian update rule or not. As our second main contribution, we develop a formal model of Bayesian learning under ambiguity. As a key feature of our approach the posterior subjective beliefs do, in general, not converge to "true" probabilities which is in line with psychological evidence against converging learning behavior. This finding thus formally establishes that CEU decision makers may even agree to disagree in the long-run despite the fact that they always received the same information.

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  • Zimper, Alexander, 2009. "Half empty, half full and why we can agree to disagree forever," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 283-299, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:71:y:2009:i:2:p:283-299
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    1. Zimper, Alexander, 2012. "Asset pricing in a Lucas fruit-tree economy with the best and worst in mind," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 610-628.
    2. Alexander Ludwig & Alexander Zimper, 2013. "A decision-theoretic model of asset-price underreaction and overreaction to dividend news," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 625-665, November.
    3. Zimper, Alexander, 2014. "On the impossibility of insider trade in rational expectations equilibria," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 109-118.
    4. A. Ludwig & A. Zimper, 2013. "A parsimonious model of subjective life expectancy," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(4), pages 519-541, October.
    5. Alexander Zimper & Alexander Ludwig, 2009. "On attitude polarization under Bayesian learning with non-additive beliefs," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 181-212, October.
    6. Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2014. "Biased Bayesian learning with an application to the risk-free rate puzzle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 79-97.
    7. Alexander Zimper & Wei Ma, 2017. "Bayesian learning with multiple priors and nonvanishing ambiguity," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 64(3), pages 409-447, October.
    8. Adam Dominiak & Jean-Philippe Lefort, 2013. "Agreement theorem for neo-additive beliefs," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(1), pages 1-13, January.
    9. Linardi, Sera, 2017. "Accounting for noise in the microfoundations of information aggregation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 334-353.

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