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A Model of Competing Narratives

Eliaz, K; Spiegler, R; (2020) A Model of Competing Narratives. American Economic Review , 110 (2) pp. 3786-3816. 10.1257/AER.20191099. Green open access

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We formalize the argument that political disagreements can be traced to a "clash of narratives". Drawing on the "Bayesian Networks" literature, we model a narrative as a causal model that maps actions into consequences, weaving a selection of other random variables into the story. An equilibrium is defined as a probability distribution over narrative-policy pairs that maximizes a representative agent's anticipatory utility, capturing the idea that public opinion favors hopeful narratives. Our equilibrium analysis sheds light on the structure of prevailing narratives, the variables they involve, the policies they sustain and their contribution to political polarization.

Type: Article
Title: A Model of Competing Narratives
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1257/AER.20191099
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1257/AER.20191099
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106356
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