Committees versus individuals: an experimental analysis of monetary policy decision-making
The results of an experimental analysis of monetary policy decision-making under uncertainty are reported. A large sample of economically literate undergraduate and postgraduate students from the London School of Economics was used to play a simple monetary policy game, both as individuals and in committees of five players. The findings - that groups make better decisions than individuals - accord with previous work by Blinder and Morgan. An attempt was also made to establish why group decision-making is superior. The results show that some of the benefit is related to the ability of committees to strip out the effect of bad play in any given period. But there is a significant additional improvement, which is argued to be associated with the ability of committee members to share information and learn from each other by observing other members' interest rate responses. One surprising result is that the superiority of committee decision-making does not appear to be related to the ability to discuss the interest rate decision.
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