Preemption and a Dilemma for Causal Decision Theory

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Proceedings of the Shanghai International Conference on Social Science 2011

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Céspedes, Esteban
SICSS 2011
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One of the lessons given by the prisoners' dilemma is that collective decisions are more rational when they are based not only on evidence, but also on causal relations. This is solved by causal decision theory.   However,   the   notion   of   causation   this theory  is   based  on confronts   further  problems  in preemption   cases.   It   will   be   shown   briefly that  preemption does not occur less frequently in social and economic situations than in prisoners' dilemma and usual causal scenarios. Group decision theory and   competition   are   clear   (and   perhaps   not   the only) examples of that. It will be argued that, in order to solve a so called preemption dilemma,  the smallest theoretical alteration should be focused on preemption rather than on the dilemma. Amongst the   most   relevant   approaches,   structural   equation models and ranking analysis of causation provide appropriate answers.