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Conflicting evidence and decisions by agency professionals: an experimental test in the context of merger regulation

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Author Info

  • Bruce Lyons

    ()

  • Gordon Menzies

    ()

  • Daniel Zizzo

    ()

Abstract

Many important regulatory decisions are taken by professionals employing limited and conflicting evidence. We conduct an experiment in a merger regulation setting, identifying the role of different standards of proof, volumes of evidence, cost of error and professional or lay decision making. The experiment was conducted on current practitioners from 11 different jurisdictions, in addition to student subjects. Legal standards of proof significantly affect decisions. There are specific differences because of professional judgment, including in how error costs and volume of evidence are taken into account. We narrow the range of explanations for why professional decision making matters. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11238-011-9258-3
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Theory and Decision.

Volume (Year): 73 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 465-499

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Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:73:y:2012:i:3:p:465-499

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100341

Related research

Keywords: Belief conservatism; Experiment; Merger control; Professionalism; Standard of proof; L33; L40; L50; C91;

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References

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  1. Klaus Abbink & Benedikt Herrmann, 2011. "The Moral Costs Of Nastiness," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 631-633, 04.
  2. Timo Henckel & Gordon Menzies & Nicholas Prokhovnik & Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Barro-Gordon Revisited: Reputational Equilibria with Inferential Expectations," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 018, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  3. Menzies Gordon Douglas & Zizzo Daniel John, 2009. "Inferential Expectations," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-27, December.
  4. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
  5. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2010. "Infrequent Portfolio Decisions: A Solution to the Forward Discount Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 870-904, June.
  6. Goldberg, Michael D & Frydman, Roman, 1996. "Imperfect Knowledge and Behaviour in the Foreign Exchange Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 869-93, July.
  7. Anderhub,Vital & Müller,Rudolf & Schmidt,Carsten, 2001. "Design and Evaluation of an Economic Experiment via the Internet," Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  8. Gordon Menzies & Daniel Zizzo, 2006. "Exchange Rate Markets And Conservative Inferential Expectations," CAMA Working Papers 2007-02, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  9. Davis, Michael L, 1994. "The Value of Truth and the Optimal Standard of Proof in Legal Disputes," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 343-59, October.
  10. Daniel L. Rubinfeld & David E.M. Sappington, 1987. "Efficient Awards and Standards of Proof in Judicial Proceedings," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 308-315, Summer.
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Cited by:
  1. Timo Henckel & Gordon D. Menzies & Daniel J. Zizzo, 2013. "The Great Recession and the Two Dimensions of European Central Bank Credibility," CAMA Working Papers 2013-55, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

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