Object-based unawareness: Theory and applications

Oliver J. Board, Kim Sau Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


In this paper and its companion paper, Board & Chung (2021), we provide foundations for a model of unawareness that can be used to distinguish between what an agent is unaware of and what she simply does not know. At an informal level, this distinction plays a key role in a number of recent papers such as Tirole (2009) and Chung & Fortnow (2016). Here we provide a set-theoretic (i.e., non-linguistic) version of our framework. We use our object-based unawareness structures to investigate two applications. The first application provides a justification for the contra proferentem doctrine of contract interpretation, under which ambiguous terms in a contract are construed against the drafter. Our second application examines speculative trade.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-43
Number of pages43
JournalJournal of Mechanism and Institutional Design
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

User-Defined Keywords

  • Unawareness
  • legal doctrine
  • no-trade theorem


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