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How Experts Decide: Identifying Preferences versus Signals from Policy Decisions

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  • Stephen Hansen
  • Michael McMahon

Abstract

A large theoretical literature assumes that experts di ffer in terms of preferences and the distribution of their private signals, but the empirical literature to date has not separately identi ed them. This paper proposes a novel way of doing so by relating the probability a member chooses a particular policy decision to the prior belief that it is correct. We then apply this methodology to study diff erences between internal and external members on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee. Using a variety of proxies for the prior, we provide evidence that they di ffer significantly on both dimensions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1063.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1063

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: Bayesian decision making; committees; monetary policy;

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References

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  1. Peter Sorensen & Marco Ottaviani, 2000. "Herd Behavior and Investment: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 695-704, June.
  2. Francisco Ruge-Murcia & Alessandro Riboni, 2008. "Monetary Policy by Committee: Consensus, Chairman Dominance or Simple Majority?," 2008 Meeting Papers 142, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Kiel, Alexandra & Gerling, Kerstin & Schulte, Elisabeth & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2003. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: a survey," Working Paper Series 0256, European Central Bank.
  4. Sean Holly & Arnab Bhattacharjee, 2005. "Inflation Targeting, Committee Decision Making and Uncertainty: The case of the Bank of England's MPC," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 119, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. Timothy Besley & Neil Meads & Paolo Surico, 2008. "Insiders versus Outsiders in Monetary Policymaking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 218-23, May.
  6. Petra Gerlach-Kristen, 2009. "Outsiders at the Bank of England's MPC," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(6), pages 1099-1115, 09.
  7. Christopher Spencer, 2006. "The Dissent Voting Behaviour of Bank of England MPC Members," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0306, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  8. Ellen E. Meade & David Stasavage, 2004. "Publicity of Debate and the Incentive to Dissent: Evidence from the US Federal Reserve," CEP Discussion Papers dp0608, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Harris, Mark & Spencer, Christopher, 2008. "Decade of dissent: explaining the dissent voting behavior of Bank of England MPC members," MPRA Paper 9100, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Stephen Hansen & Michael McMahon, 2012. "First Impressions Matter: Signalling as a Source of Policy Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 3782, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Horvath, Roman & Rusnak, Marek & Smidkova, Katerina & Zapal, Jan, 2011. "Dissent voting behavior of central bankers: what do we really know?," MPRA Paper 34638, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Mahieu, R.J. & Raes, L.B.D., 2013. "Inferring Hawks and Doves from Voting Records," Discussion Paper 2013-024, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Maurin, Vincent & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2012. "Monetary policy deliberations: committee size and voting rules," Working Paper Series 1434, European Central Bank.

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