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Bayesian group belief

  • Franz Dietrich

If a group is modelled as a single Bayesian agent, what should its beliefs be? I propose an axiomatic model that connects group beliefs to beliefs of the group members. The group members may have different information, different prior beliefs and even different domains (algebras) within which they hold beliefs, accounting for differences in awareness and conceptualisation. As is shown, group beliefs can incorporate all information spread across individuals without individuals having to explicitly communicate their information (that may be too complex or personal to describe, or not describable in principle in the language). The group beliefs derived here take a simple multiplicative form if people's information is independent (and a more complex form if information overlaps arbitrarily). This form contrasts with familiar linear or geometric opinion pooling and the (Pareto) requirement of respecting unanimous beliefs.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29573/
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 29573.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Publication status: Published in Social Choice and Welfare, October, 2010, 35(4), pp. 595-626. ISSN: 0176-1714
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:29573
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  1. Dietrich Franz & List Christian, 2007. "Opinion pooling on general agendas," Research Memorandum 038, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  2. MONGIN, Philippe, 1993. "Consistent Bayesian Aggregation," CORE Discussion Papers 1993019, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Pivato, Marcus, 2008. "The Discursive Dilemma and Probabilistic Judgement Aggregation," MPRA Paper 8412, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Franz Dietrich, 2004. "Opinion Pooling under Asymmetric Information," Public Economics 0407002, EconWPA.
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