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Learning and Discovery

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  • Grant, Simon
  • Quiggin, John

Abstract

We formulate a dynamic framework for an individual decision-maker within which discovery of previously unconsidered propositions is possible. Using a standard game-theoretic representation of the state space as a tree structure generated by the actions of agents (including acts of nature), we show how unawareness of propositions can be represented by a coarsening of the state space. Furthermore we develop a semantics rich enough to describe the individual's awareness that currently undiscovered propositions may be discovered in the future. Introducing probability concepts, we derive a representation of ambiguity in terms of multiple priors, reflecting implicit beliefs about undiscovered proposition, and derive conditions for the special case in which standard Bayesian learning may be applied to a subset of unambiguous propositions. Finally, we consider exploration strategies appropriate to the context of discovery, comparing and contrasting them with learning strategies appropriate to the context of justification, and sketch applications to scientific research and entrepreneurship.

Suggested Citation

  • Grant, Simon & Quiggin, John, 2006. "Learning and Discovery," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 151174, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uqsers:151174
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1995. "Case-Based Decision Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 605-639.
    2. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
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    4. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    5. Eichberger, Jurgen & Grant, Simon & Kelsey, David, 2007. "Updating Choquet beliefs," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(7-8), pages 888-899, September.
    6. Chateauneuf, Alain & Eichberger, Jurgen & Grant, Simon, 2007. "Choice under uncertainty with the best and worst in mind: Neo-additive capacities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 538-567, November.
    7. Heifetz, Aviad & Meier, Martin & Schipper, Burkhard C., 2006. "Interactive unawareness," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 78-94, September.
    8. Hart, Sergiu & Heifetz, Aviad & Samet, Dov, 1996. ""Knowing Whether," "Knowing That," and The Cardinality of State Spaces," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 249-256, July.
    9. Jean-Yves Jaffray & Fabrice Philippe, 1997. "On the Existence of Subjective Upper and Lower Probabilities," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 22(1), pages 165-185, February.
    10. Karni, Edi, 2006. "Subjective expected utility theory without states of the world," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 325-342, June.
    11. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    12. Dekel, Eddie, 1986. "An axiomatic characterization of preferences under uncertainty: Weakening the independence axiom," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 304-318, December.
    13. Modica, Salvatore & Rustichini, Aldo, 1999. "Unawareness and Partitional Information Structures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 265-298, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John Quiggin, "undated". "Complexity, Climate Change and the Precautionary Principle," Climate Change Working Papers WPC07_3, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland.
    2. Quiggin, John, 2008. "Risk Shifts in Australia: Implications of the Financial Crisis," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 151520, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    3. Simon Grant & Jeff Kline & John Quiggin, 2006. "Lost in Translation: Honest Misunderstandings and Ex Post Disputes," Risk & Uncertainty Working Papers WP3R06, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland.
    4. Simon Grant & John Quiggin, 2013. "Inductive reasoning about unawareness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 54(3), pages 717-755, November.
    5. Halpern, Joseph Y. & Rêgo, Leandro C., 2009. "Reasoning about knowledge of unawareness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 503-525, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Institutional and Behavioral Economics; Public Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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