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Cognitive Diversity, Binary Decisions, and Epistemic Democracy

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  • John A Weymark

    (Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

In Democratic Reason, Hélène Landemore has built a case for the epistemic virtues of inclusive deliberative democracy based on the cognitive diversity of the group engaged in making collective decisions. She supports her thesis by appealing to the Diversity Trumps Ability Theorem of Lu Hong and Scott Page. In practice, deliberative assemblies often restrict attention to situations with only two options. In this paper, it is shown that it is not possible to satisfy the assumptions of the Diversity Trumps Ability Theorem when decisions are binary. The relevance of this theorem for democratic decision-making in non-binary situations is also considered.

Suggested Citation

  • John A Weymark, 2014. "Cognitive Diversity, Binary Decisions, and Epistemic Democracy," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 14-00008, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:vuecon-sub-00008
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bozbay, İrem & Dietrich, Franz & Peters, Hans, 2014. "Judgment aggregation in search for the truth," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 571-590.
    2. Marco LiCalzi & Oktay Surucu, 2012. "The Power of Diversity over Large Solution Spaces," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(7), pages 1408-1421, July.
    3. Scott E. Page, 2007. "Prologue to The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies," Introductory Chapters, in: The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies, Princeton University Press.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    epistemic democracy; Diversity Trumps Ability Theorem;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • Y8 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines

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