Theoretical Economics, Volume 17, Number 2 ( 2022)

Theoretical Economics 17 (2022), 587–615

Monologues, dialogues and common priors

Alfredo Di Tillio, Ehud Lehrer, Dov Samet


The main purpose of this paper is to provide a simple criterion enabling to conclude that two agents do not share a common prior. The criterion is simple, as it does not require information about the agents' knowledge and beliefs, but rather only the record of a dialogue between the agents. In each stage of the dialogue the agents tell each other the probability they ascribe to a fixed event and update their beliefs about the event. To characterize dialogues consistent with a common prior, we first study monologues, which are sequences of probabilities assigned by a single agent to a given event in an exogenous learning process. A dialogue is consistent with a common prior if and only if each selection sequence from the two monologues comprising the dialogue is itself a monologue.

Keywords: Learning processes, Bayesian dialogue, Bayesian monologue, Ratio variation, Joint fluctuation, Agreement

JEL classification: D83

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