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

  • Zimper, Alexander

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 71 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 283-299

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:71:y:2009:i:2:p:283-299
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