Bargaining over a common conceptual space
Two agents endowed with different individual conceptual spaces are engaged in a dialectic process to reach a common understanding. We model the process as a simple noncooperative game and demonstrate three results. When the initial disagreement is focused, the bargaining process has a zero-sum structure. When the disagreement is widespread, the zero-sum structure disappears and the unique equilibrium requires a retraction of consensus: two agents who individually agree to associate a region with the same concept end up rebranding it as a different concept. Finally, we document a conversers' dilemma: such equilibrium outcome is Pareto-dominated by a cooperative solution that avoids retraction.
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- Birger Wernerfelt, 2004. "Organizational Languages," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 461-472, September.
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