How to Make Sense of the Common Prior Assumption Under Incomplete Information
Posted: 5 Oct 1999
Recent contributions have questioned the meaningfulness of the Common Prior Assumption (CPA) in situations of incomplete information. We characterize the CPA in terms of the primitives (individuals' belief hierarchies) without reference to an ex ante stage. The key is to rule out "agreeing to disagree" about any aspect of beliefs. Our results also yield a generalization of single-person Bayesian updating to situations without perfect recall. The entire analysis is carried out locally at the "true state", using beliefs only, rather than beliefs-plus-knowledge. We discuss the role of truth assumptions on beliefs for a satisfactory notion of the CPA, and point out an important conceptual discontinuity between the case of two and many individuals.
JEL Classification: C70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation