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Sequential aggregation of verifiable information

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  • Hahn, Volker

Abstract

We introduce the notion of verifiable information into a model of sequential debate among experts who are motivated by career concerns. We show that self-censorship may hamper the efficiency of information aggregation, as experts withhold evidence contradicting the conventional wisdom. In this case, silence is telling and undermines the prevailing view over time if this view is incorrect. As a result, withholding arguments about the correct state of the world is only a temporary phenomenon, and the probability of a correct decision always converges to one as the group of experts becomes large. For small groups, a simple mechanism the principal can use to improve decision-making is to appoint a devil's advocate.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
Pages: 1447-1454

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:11:p:1447-1454

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Experts; Committees; Career concerns; Verifiable information; Information aggregation;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Volker Hahn, 2013. "Committee Design with Endogenous Participation," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-12, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  2. Hahn, Volker, 2012. "On the Optimal Size of Committees of Experts," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62041, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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