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Markets vs. politics: correcting erroneous beliefs differently

Martin Gregor ()

A chapter in Explorations in Austrian Economics, 2008, pp 55-78 from Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Abstract: In the fields of social choice, public choice, and political economics, the key difference between private and political decision-making is whether preferences have to be aggregated to make a decision. A related, yet much less studied difference is whether also beliefs have to be aggregated. In this chapter, we argue that belief aggregation creates different incentives for individual belief updates in private and political choice. We review contemporary theories of biased beliefs in politics: Bayesian misperceptions, behavioral anomalies, and rational irrationality. We examine assumptions and consequences of all the approaches vis-à-vis issues of common knowledge, stability, symmetry, and multiplicity of stable states. As a route for further analysis, we construct an evolutionary model including a coordination failure. Differences in learning dynamics make the political play of this baseline game Pareto-inferior to the private play.

Date: 2008
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Working Paper: Markets vs. Politics, Correcting Erroneous Beliefs Differently (2007) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1016/S1529-2134(08)11004-3

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