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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. 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.
  2. Besley, Timothy & Meads, Neil & Surico, Paolo, 2007. "Insiders versus Outsiders in Monetary Policy-Making," Discussion Papers 20, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
  3. 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.
  4. Peter Sorensen & Marco Ottaviani, 2000. "Herd Behavior and Investment: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 695-704, June.
  5. RIBONI, Alessandro & RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco J., 2008. "Monetary Policy by Committee:Consensus, Chairman Dominance or Simple Majority?," Cahiers de recherche 2008-02, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  6. Mark Harris & Paul Levine & Christopher Spencer, 2011. "A decade of dissent: explaining the dissent voting behavior of Bank of England MPC members," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 413-442, March.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael McMahon & Stephen Hansen, 2012. "First Impressions Matter: Signalling as a Source of Policy Dynamics," 2012 Meeting Papers 1163, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Roman Horváth & Kateøina Šmídková & Jan Zápal & Marek Rusnák, 2012. "Dissent Voting Behavior of Central Bankers: What Do We Really Know?," Working Papers IES 2012/05, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Feb 2012.
  3. Maurin, Vincent & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2012. "Monetary policy deliberations: committee size and voting rules," Working Paper Series 1434, European Central Bank.
  4. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Mahieu, Ronald J & Raes, Louis, 2013. "Inferring hawks and doves from voting records," CEPR Discussion Papers 9418, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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