American Political Science Review 98 (3):495-513 (2004)

Authors
Christian List
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Abstract
I model sequential decisions over multiple interconnected propositions and investigate path-dependence 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.
Keywords Judgment aggregation  Path-dependence  Sequential decisions  Discursive dilemma
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References found in this work BETA

Law’s Empire.Ronald Dworkin - 1986 - Harvard University Press.
Social Choice and Individual Values.Irving M. Copi - 1952 - Science and Society 16 (2):181-181.

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Citations of this work BETA

Arrow's Theorem in Judgment Aggregation.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2007 - Social Choice and Welfare 29 (1):19-33.

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