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Communication, consensus and order. Who wants to speak first?


  • Houy, Nicolas
  • Ménager, Lucie


Parikh and Krasucki [R. Parikh, P. Krasucki, Communication, consensus and knowledge, J. Econ. Theory 52 (1990) 178-189] show that, in a group of rational agents, communication of the value of a function f leads to a consensus on the value of f, provided some conditions on the communication protocol and the function f hold. In this article, we address the issue of the influence of the protocol on the outcome of the communication process, when agents value information positively. We show that, if it is common knowledge in a group of agents that some of them disagree on two protocols, then the consensus value of f must be the same for both protocols.

Suggested Citation

  • Houy, Nicolas & Ménager, Lucie, 2008. "Communication, consensus and order. Who wants to speak first?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 140-152, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:143:y:2008:i:1:p:140-152

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
    2. Marco Ottaviani & Peter Norman Sorensen, 2002. "Professional Advice: The Theory of Reputational Cheap Talk," Discussion Papers 02-05, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    3. Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-479, June.
    4. Krasucki, Paul, 1996. "Protocols Forcing Consensus," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 266-272, July.
    5. Parikh, Rohit & Krasucki, Paul, 1990. "Communication, consensus, and knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 178-189, October.
    6. Cave, Jonathan A. K., 1983. "Learning to agree," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 147-152.
    7. Bacharach, Michael, 1985. "Some extensions of a claim of Aumann in an axiomatic model of knowledge," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 167-190, October.
    8. Geanakoplos, John D. & Polemarchakis, Heraklis M., 1982. "We can't disagree forever," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 192-200, October.
    9. Chamley, Christophe & Gale, Douglas, 1994. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1065-1085, September.
    10. Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter, 2001. "Information aggregation in debate: who should speak first?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 393-421, September.
    11. Gul, Faruk & Lundholm, Russell, 1995. "Endogenous Timing and the Clustering of Agents' Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1039-1066, October.
    12. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
    13. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:02:p:413-418_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Robert J Aumann, 1999. "Agreeing to Disagree," Levine's Working Paper Archive 512, David K. Levine.
    15. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tsakas, Elias & Voorneveld, Mark, 2011. "On consensus through communication without a commonly known protocol," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 733-739.

    More about this item


    Common knowledge Consensus Communication protocol;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design


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