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On the relationship between individual and group decisions

Author

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  • Sobel, Joel

    () (Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego)

Abstract

Each member of a group receives a signal about the unknown state of the world and decides upon a utility-maximizing recommendation on the basis of that signal. The individuals have identical preferences. The group makes a decision that maximizes the common utility function assuming perfect pooling of the information in individual signals. An action profile is a group action and a recommendation from each individual. A collection of action profiles is rational if there exists an information structure under which all elements in the collection arise with positive probability. With no restrictions on the information structure, essentially all action profiles are rational. In fact, given any distribution over action profiles it is possible to find an information structure that approximates the distribution. In a monotone environment in which individuals receive conditionally independent signals, essentially any single action profile is rational, although some collections of action profiles are not.

Suggested Citation

  • Sobel, Joel, 2014. "On the relationship between individual and group decisions," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(1), January.
  • Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:1185
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Börgers, Tilman & Hernando-Veciana, Angel & Krähmer, Daniel, 2013. "When are signals complements or substitutes?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(1), pages 165-195.
    2. Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin, 1998. "The Value of Information In Monotone Decision Problems," Working papers 98-24, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Robert T. Clemen & Robert L. Winkler, 1990. "Unanimity and Compromise Among Probability Forecasters," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(7), pages 767-779, July.
    4. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    5. Robert L. Winkler, 1986. "Expert Resolution," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(3), pages 298-303, March.
    6. Kfir Eliaz & Debraj Ray & Ronny Razin, 2006. "Choice Shifts in Groups: A Decision-Theoretic Basis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1321-1332, September.
    7. Christopher Chambers & Paul Healy, 2012. "Updating toward the signal," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(3), pages 765-786, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jetheo:v:174:y:2018:i:c:p:273-287 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bougheas, Spiros & Nieboer, Jeroen & Sefton, Martin, 2015. "Risk taking and information aggregation in groups," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 34-47.
    3. Nicolas Roux & Joel Sobel, 2015. "Group Polarization in a Model of Information Aggregation," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 202-232, November.
    4. Levy, Gilat & Razin, Ronny, 2015. "Segregation in Education and Labour Market Discrimination: The Role of Peer Beliefs," CEPR Discussion Papers 10394, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Statistical decision problem; group polarization; behavioral economics; psychology; forecasting;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles

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