Abstract

The copyright to this Article is held by the Econometric Society. It may be downloaded, printed and reproduced only for educational or research purposes, including use in course packs. No downloading or copying may be done for any commercial purpose without the explicit permission of the Econometric Society. For such commercial purposes contact the Office of the Econometric Society (contact information may be found at the website http://www.econometricsociety.org or in the back cover of Econometrica). This statement must be included on all copies of this Article that are made available electronically or in any other format. 1 Consider two agents who learn the value of an unknown parameter by observing a sequence of private signals. The signals are independent and identically distributed across time but not necessarily across agents. We show that when each agent's signal space is finite, the agents will commonly learn the value of the parameter, that is, that the true value of the parameter will become approximate common knowledge. The essential step in this argument is to express the expectation of one agent's signals, conditional on those of the other agent, in terms of a Markov chain. This allows us to invoke a contraction mapping principle ensuring that if one agent's signals are close to those expected under a particular value of the parameter, then that agent expects the other agent's signals to be even closer to those expected under the parameter value. In contrast, if the agents' observations come from a countably infinite signal space, then this contraction mapping property fails. We show by example that common learning can fail in this case.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Cripps2008CommonLB, title={Common Learning By}, author={Martin W. Cripps and Jeffrey C. Ely and George J. Mailath and Larry Samuelson}, year={2008} }