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Estimating Bayesian Decision Problems with Heterogeneous Priors

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  • Stephen Hansen
  • Michael McMahon

Abstract

In many areas of economics there is a growing interest in how expertise and preferences drive individual and group decision making under uncertainty. Increasingly, we wish to estimate such models to quantify which of these drive decision making. In this paper we propose a new channel through which we can empirically identify expertise and preference parameters by using variation in decisions over heterogeneous priors. Relative to existing estimation approaches, our "Prior-Based Identification" extends the possible environments which can be estimated, and also substantially improves the accuracy and precision of estimates in those environments which can be estimated using existing methods.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 683.

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Date of creation: Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:683

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Keywords: Bayesian decision making; expertise; preferences; estimation;

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  1. Stephen Hansen & Michael McMahon & Carlos Velasco Rivera, 2013. "How Expoerts Decide: Preferences or Private Assessments on a Monetary Policy Committee?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4201, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Matias Iaryczower & Matthew Shum, 2012. "The Value of Information in the Court: Get It Right, Keep It Tight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 202-37, February.
  3. Gerling, Kerstin & Gruner, Hans Peter & Kiel, Alexandra & Schulte, Elisabeth, 2005. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 563-597, September.
  4. Iaryczower, Matias & Lewis, Garrett & Shum, Matthew, 2013. "To elect or to appoint? Bias, information, and responsiveness of bureaucrats and politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 230-244.
  5. Peter Sorensen & Marco Ottaviani, 2000. "Herd Behavior and Investment: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 695-704, June.
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