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Expert-based Knowledge: Communicating over Scientific Models

Colo, Philippe (2021): Expert-based Knowledge: Communicating over Scientific Models.

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Scientific models structure our perception of reality. This paper studies how we choose among them under expert advice. Scientific models are formalised as probability distributions over possible scenarios. An expert is assumed to know the most likely model and seeks to communicate it to a decision maker, but cannot prove it. As a result, communication about models is a cheap talk game. The decision maker is in a situation of model-uncertainty and is ambiguity sensitive. I show that information transmission depends on the strategic misalignment of players and, unlike similar models in the literature, a form of consensus among scientific models. When science is divided, there is an asymmetry in information transmission when the receiver has maxmin expected utility preferences. No information can be conveyed about models above a certain threshold. All equilibria of the game are outcome equivalent to a partitional equilibrium and the most informative one is interim Pareto dominant.

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