Rational Debate and One-Dimensional Conflict

68 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2000

See all articles by David M. Spector

David M. Spector

University of Angers - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives d'Economie Mathematique Appliquees a la Planification (CEPREMAP)

Date Written: March 1999

Abstract

This paper studies repeated communication regarding a multidimensional collective decision in a large population. When preferences coincide but beliefs about the consequences of the various decisions diverge, it is shown, under some specific assumptions, that public communication causes the disagreement between beliefs either to vanish or to become one-dimensional at the limit. Multidimensional disagreement allows indeed for many directions of communication, including some which are orthogonal to the conflict, along which agents can communicate credibly. The possible convergence towards a one-dimensional conflict where no further communication takes place may be related to the empirically observed geometry of the political conflict in many countries.

Keywords: Collective Choice, Information Aggregation, Cheap Talk

JEL Classification: C11, C73, D70, D82, D83

Suggested Citation

Spector, David M., Rational Debate and One-Dimensional Conflict (March 1999). MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 99-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=235813 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.235813

David M. Spector (Contact Author)

University of Angers - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives d'Economie Mathematique Appliquees a la Planification (CEPREMAP)

Ecole Normale Superieure
48 boulevard Jourdan
75014 Paris
France

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