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Do conventions need to be common knowledge?

Binmore, K.; (2007) Do conventions need to be common knowledge? (ELSE Working Papers 261). ESRC Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Do conventions need to be common knowledge? David Lewis builds this requirement into his definition of a convention. This paper explores the extent to which his approach finds support in the game theory literature. The knowledge formalism developed by Robert Aumann and others militates against Lewis’s approach, because it demonstrates that it is almost impossible for something to become common knowledge in a large society. On the other hand, Ariel Rubinstein’s Email Game suggests that coordinated action is equally hard for rational players. But an unnecessary simplifying assumption in the Email Game turns out to be doing all the work, and the paper concludes that common knowledge is better excluded from a definition of the conventions that we use to regulate our daily lives.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Do conventions need to be common knowledge?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://else.econ.ucl.ac.uk/newweb/papers.php#2007
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/14438
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