Rational Debate and One-Dimensional Conflict
68 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2000
Date Written: March 1999
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: Suggested Citation