Communication and the Emergence of a Unidimensional World

45 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2016 Last revised: 17 Jul 2018

See all articles by Philippos Louis

Philippos Louis

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics

Orestis Troumpounis

Università di Padova; Lancaster University - Department of Economics

Nikolas Tsakas

University of Cyprus - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 18, 2017

Abstract

Individuals hold and exchange opinions over multiple issues. However, a unidimensional spectrum is often enough to represent all those. As our theoretical and experimental results indicate, opinion differences can reduce to disagreement on a single dimension when individuals communicate and update their opinions in a boundedly rational manner, even when communication patterns are not (very) structured. Nevertheless, while communication is enough for the prevalence of unidimensionality, the presence of structured social networks proves crucial in predicting whether individuals form relatively moderate or extreme views and the importance of different issues on the shape of disagreement.

Keywords: opinion dynamics, information aggregation, persuasion bias, social networks

JEL Classification: D83, D85

Suggested Citation

Louis, Philippos and Troumpounis, Orestis and Tsakas, Nikolas, Communication and the Emergence of a Unidimensional World (April 18, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2883024 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2883024

Philippos Louis (Contact Author)

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics ( email )

High Street
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Orestis Troumpounis

Università di Padova ( email )

Lancaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

Lancaster LA1 4YX, LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

Nikolas Tsakas

University of Cyprus - Department of Economics ( email )

75 Kallipoleos Street
P.O. Box 20537
1678 Nicosia
Cyprus

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