Many things changed when MathOverflow joined the Stack Exchange Network a year ago. While most changes were quickly absorbed a few are more subtle and might have been missed by some. In particular, closing as duplicate has changed in a way that is somewhat incompatible with historical usage.
The main change is that it is now impossible to close a question as a duplicate if the original has no answer. Historically, it was encouraged to mark as duplicate all repeat questions, regardless whether the original had an answer or not. This is compatible with mathematical tradition, where one wants to preserve the authorship of a question, especially an open question! Unfortunately, this isn't a relevant tradition for many other network sites.
Here are the meta.SE posts where the changes were originally discussed:
- Changes to "close as duplicate"
- We should be able to close questions as duplicates of any question
- Changes to "close as duplicate" (part deux)
Keep in mind that duplicates are actually useful as they generally improve search results. On the other hand, it is necessary to close duplicates to avoid fragmentation of answers.