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Fact-Free Learning

  • Enriqueta Aragones

    (Institute d'Analisi Economica, CSIC)

  • Itzhak Gilboa

    (School of Economics, Tel Aviv University)

  • Andrew Postlewaite

    (Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • David Schmeidler

    (School of Mathematical Sciences, Tel Aviv Univ.)

People may be surprised by noticing certain regularities that hold in existing knowledge they have had for some time. That is, they may learn without getting new factual information. We argue that this can be partly explained by computational complexity. We show that, given a database, finding a small set of variables that obtain a certain value of R^2 is computationally hard, in the sense that this term is used in computer science. We discuss some of the implications of this result and of fact-free learning in general.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d14b/d1491.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1491.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in American Economic Review (2005), 95: 1355-1368
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1491
Contact details of provider: Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/

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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Anderlini, L. & Felli, L., 1993. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," Papers 183, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
  2. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521003117 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  4. Aragones, E. & Gilboa, I. & Postlewaite, A. & Schmeidler, D., 2001. "Rhetoric and Analogies," Papers 2001-15, Tel Aviv.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521802345 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Itzhak Gilboa, 1990. "Philosophical Applications of Kolmogorov's Complexity Measure," Discussion Papers 923, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Eddie Dekel, 1997. "A Unique Subjective State Space for Unforeseen Contingencies," Discussion Papers 1202, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L. & Rustichini, Aldo, 1998. "Recent developments in modeling unforeseen contingencies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 523-542, May.
  9. Kreps, David M, 1979. "A Representation Theorem for "Preference for Flexibility"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 565-77, May.
  10. Bray, Margaret M & Savin, Nathan E, 1986. "Rational Expectations Equilibria, Learning, and Model Specification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1129-60, September.
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