When Should Political Scientists Use the Self-Confirming Equilibrium Concept? Benefits, Costs, and an Application to Jury Theorems

Posted: 25 Jan 2010

See all articles by Arthur Lupia

Arthur Lupia

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science

Adam Seth Levine

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Natasha Zharinova

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: Winter 2010

Abstract

Many claims about political behavior are based on implicit assumptions about how people think. One such assumption, that political actors use identical conjectures when assessing others’ strategies, is nested within applications of widely used game-theoretic equilibrium concepts. When empirical findings call this assumption into question, the self-confirming equilibrium (SCE) concept provides an alternate criterion for theoretical claims. We examine applications of SCE to political science. Our main example focuses on the claim of . Convicting the innocent: The inferiority of unanimous jury verdicts under strategic voting. American Political Science Review 92:23-35). We show that the claim depends on the assumption that jurors have identical beliefs about one another's types and identical conjectures about one another's strategies. When jurors’ beliefs and conjectures vary in ways documented by empirical jury research, fewer false convictions can occur in equilibrium. The SCE concept can confer inferential advantages when actors have different beliefs and conjectures about one another.

Suggested Citation

Lupia, Arthur and Levine, Adam Seth and Zharinova, Natasha, When Should Political Scientists Use the Self-Confirming Equilibrium Concept? Benefits, Costs, and an Application to Jury Theorems (Winter 2010). Political Analysis, Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp. 103-123, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1541019 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pan/mpp026

Arthur Lupia (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
734-647-7549 (Phone)
734-764-3341 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: www.umich.edu/~lupia

Adam Seth Levine

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Natasha Zharinova

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
254
PlumX Metrics