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How Experts Decide : Identifying Preferences versus Signals from Policy Decisions

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  • Hansen, Stephen

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • McMahon, Michael

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

A large theoretical literature assumes that experts differ in terms of preferences and the distribution of their private signals, but the empirical literature to date has not separately identified 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 differences 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 differ significantly on both dimensions. Key words: Bayesian decision making ; Committees ; Monetary policy JEL classification: D81 ; D82 ; E52

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 963.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:963

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. EllenE. Meade & David Stasavage, 2008. "Publicity of Debate and the Incentive to Dissent: Evidence from the US Federal Reserve," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 695-717, 04.
  4. 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.
  5. Peter Sorensen & Marco Ottaviani, 2000. "Herd Behavior and Investment: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 695-704, June.
  6. Bhattacharjee, A. & Holly, S., 2005. "Inflation Targeting, Committee Decision Making and Uncertainty: The case of the Bank of England’s MPC," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0530, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Stephen Hansen & Michael McMahon, 2011. "First Impressions Matter: Signalling as a Source of Policy Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp1074, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. 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.
  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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