Agreeing to Disagree and Dilation


Jiji Zhang, Hailin Liu, Teddy Seidenfeld ;
Proceedings of the Tenth International Symposium on Imprecise Probability: Theories and Applications, PMLR 62:370-381, 2017.


We consider Geanakoplos and Polemarchakis’s generalization of Aumman’s famous result on “agreeing to disagree", in the context of imprecise probability. The main purpose is to reveal a connection between the possibility of agreeing to disagree and the interesting and anomalous phenomenon known as dilation. We show that for two agents who share the same set of priors and update by conditioning on every prior, it is impossible to agree to disagree on the lower or upper probability of a hypothesis unless a certain dilation occurs. With some common topological assumptions, the result entails that it is impossible to agree not to have the same set of posterior probabilities unless dilation is present. This result may be used to generate sufficient conditions for guaranteed full agreement in the generalized Aumman-setting for some important models of imprecise priors, and we illustrate the potential with an agreement result involving the density ratio classes. We also provide a formulation of our results in terms of “dilation-averse” agents who ignore information about the value of a dilating partition but otherwise update by full Bayesian conditioning.

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