A model of path-dependence in decisions over multiple propositions [Journal Article]

Date

2004

Authors

List, Christian

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Abstract

I model sequential decisions over multiple interconnected propositions and investigate pathdependence in such decisions. The propositions and their interconnections are represented in propositional logic. A sequential decision process is path-dependent if its outcome depends on the order in which the propositions are considered. Assuming that earlier decisions constrain later ones, I prove three main results: First, certain rationality violations by the decision-making agent—–individual or group—–are necessary and sufficient for path-dependence. Second, under some conditions, path-dependence is unavoidable in decisions made by groups. Third, path-dependence makes decisions vulnerable to strategic agenda setting and strategic voting. I also discuss escape routes from path-dependence. My results are relevant to discussions on collective consistency and reason-based decision-making, focusing not only on outcomes, but also on underlying reasons, beliefs, and constraints.

Description

Keywords

Citation

American Political Science Review 98.3 (2004): 495-513

Source

American Political Science Review

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1017/S0003055404001303

Restricted until