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Adversarial decision-making: Choosing between models constructed by interested parties

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  • Froeb, Luke M.
  • Ganglmair, Bernhard
  • Tschantz, Steven

Abstract

In this paper, we characterize adversarial decision-making as a choice between competing interpretations of evidence ("models") constructed by interested parties. We show that if a court cannot perfectly determine which party's model is more likely to have generated the evidence, then adversaries face a tradeoff: a model further away from the best (most likely) interpretation has a lower probability of winning, but also a higher payoff following a win. We characterize equilibrium when both adversaries construct optimal models, and use the characterization to compare adversarial decision-making to an inquisitorial benchmark. We find that adversarial decisions are biased, and the bias favors the party with the less-likely, and more extreme, interpretation of the evidence. Court bias disappears when the court is better able to distinguish between the likelihoods of the competing models, or as the amount of evidence grows.

Suggested Citation

  • Froeb, Luke M. & Ganglmair, Bernhard & Tschantz, Steven, 2016. "Adversarial decision-making: Choosing between models constructed by interested parties," MPRA Paper 71501, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:71501
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    adversarial justice; evidence-based decision-making; expert testimony; inquisitorial justice; litigation; persuasion games; science vs. advocacy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process

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