A Theory of Competitive Framing
Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics
University of Texas at Dallas - School of Management - Department of Finance & Managerial Economics
Vanderbilt University - Department of Mathematics
March 24, 2014
Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management Research Paper No. 2371768
Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 14-13
In adversarial contests, we observe seemingly inconsistent claims about factual or scientific evidence. In this paper, we build a model that can explain the existence and effects of such claims. To do this, we turn scientific inquiry upside down. Instead of objective truth seekers who formulate hypotheses and then gather evidence to test them, we model behavior by self-interested parties who strategically choose hypotheses to influence a decision maker – after the evidence has already been produced and discovered. We show that equilibrium decisions are biased away from the best explanation, and the bias favors the party making the more extreme claim.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: framing, evidence-based decision making, adversarial justice, Bayesian hypothesis testing, litigation games, expert testimony
JEL Classification: C11, C72, D72, K41, L22
Date posted: December 25, 2013 ; Last revised: March 25, 2014
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