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Careerist Experts and Political Incorrectness

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  • Chia-Hui Chen
  • Junichiro Ishida

Abstract

While political correctness is a dominant norm in many public situations, we also observe behaviors that are apparently ''politically incorrect,'' often from professionals and experts. This paper examines the flip side of political correctness as analyzed in Morris (2001) to shed some light on the elusive notion of political incorrectness and elucidate its equilibrium and welfare properties. We show that there are circumstances in which unbiased experts deliberately take a politically incorrect stance out of reputational concerns and identify key elements which give rise to this perverse reputational incentive. The results suggest that political incorrectness cannot necessarily be viewed as a sign of blunt honesty when informed experts have long-term reputational concerns. We also examine the welfare consequences of political incorrectness and argue that this form of information manipulation can be beneficial under some conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Chia-Hui Chen & Junichiro Ishida, 2014. "Careerist Experts and Political Incorrectness," ISER Discussion Paper 0894, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0894
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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