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Herding Among Bureaucrats

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  • Branko Boskovic, David P.Byrne, Arvind Magesan

Abstract

The herding of expert opinions is often rationalized as the outcome of social learning. However,experts are typically individuals with career concerns. As a result, herding can also arise from the fear of opposing consensus opinion and the potential career consequences of being wrong. We empirically test for social learning and career concerns using novel data on bureaucrats' expert opinions over whether to publicly provide health insurance for pharmaceuticals. We and robust evidence that career concerns are an important source of herd behavior in these policy choices. Our findings have implications for the delegation of policy-making to experts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1158.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1158

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Keywords: D80; H77; I18;

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  1. Buera, Francisco & Monge-Naranjo, Alexander & Primiceri, Giorgio E., 2010. "Learning the Wealth of Nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 8030, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Margaret K. Kyle, 2006. "The role of firm characteristics in pharmaceutical product launches," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 602-618, 09.
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