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Collective economic decisions and the discursive dilemma

Author

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  • Carl Andreas Claussen

    (Norges Bank)

  • Øistein Røisland

    (Norges Bank)

Abstract

Most economic decisions involve judgments. When decisions are taken collectively, various judgment aggregation problems may occur. Here we consider an aggregation problem called the "discursive dilemma", which is characterized by an inconsistency between the aggregate judgment on the premises for a conclusion and the aggregate judgment on the conclusion itself. It thus matter for the decision whether the group uses a premise- or a conclusion-based decisionmaking procedure. The current literature, primarily within jurisprudence, philosophy, and social choice, consider aggregation of qualitative judgments on propositions. Most economic decisions, however, involve quantitative judgments on economic variables. We develop a framework that is suitable for analyzing the relevance of the discursive dilemma for economic decisions. Assuming that decisions are reached either through majority voting or by averaging, we find that the dilemma cannot be ruled out, except under some restrictive assumptions about the relationship between the premise-variables and the conclusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Andreas Claussen & Øistein Røisland, 2005. "Collective economic decisions and the discursive dilemma," Working Paper 2005/3, Norges Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:bno:worpap:2005_03
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    Cited by:

    1. Carl Claussen & Øistein Røisland, 2010. "A quantitative discursive dilemma," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(1), pages 49-64, June.
    2. Klaus Nehring & Clemens Puppe, 2008. "Consistent judgement aggregation: the truth-functional case," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(1), pages 41-57, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Collective economic decisions; Judgement aggregation; Inconsistency;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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