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Sequential aggregation of verifiable information

  • Hahn, Volker

We introduce the notion of verifiable information into a model of sequential debate among experts who are motivated by career concerns. We show that self-censorship may hamper the efficiency of information aggregation, as experts withhold evidence contradicting the conventional wisdom. In this case, silence is telling and undermines the prevailing view over time if this view is incorrect. As a result, withholding arguments about the correct state of the world is only a temporary phenomenon, and the probability of a correct decision always converges to one as the group of experts becomes large. For small groups, a simple mechanism the principal can use to improve decision-making is to appoint a devil's advocate.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
Pages: 1447-1454

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:11:p:1447-1454
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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