Working Papers

The Financial System




Social interaction and epistemology in information elicitation

Author:Hitoshi Matsushima


We consider the possibility that in a society where innately prosocial and adversarial agents exist albeit in the minority, the majority of agents behave honestly from two distinct perspectives. First, we consider a socioeconomic perspective in which the majority are influenced by their partners through iterative social interaction with conformity. We define an honest society as one in which the majority can acquire the prosocial mode after such an iteration. Second, we consider a strategic perspective in which the majority are motivated by self-interest and use epistemological reasoning. We show an equivalence between these perspectives in information elicitation, implying that a society is honest if and only if the majority behaves honestly via a unique Bayesian Nash equilibrium in a detail-free mechanism.