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Learning from Experts


  • Irene Valsecchi

    (University of Milano-Bicocca)


The survey is concerned with the issue of information transmission from experts to non-experts. Two main approaches to the use of experts can be traced. According to the game-theoretic approach expertise is a case of asymmetric information between the expert, who is the better informed agent, and the non-expert, who is either a decision-maker or an evaluator of the expert’s performance. According to the Bayesian decision-theoretic approach the expert is the agent who announces his probabilistic opinion, and the non-expert has to incorporate that opinion into his beliefs in a consistent way, despite his poor understanding of the expert’s substantive knowledge. The two approaches ground the relationships between experts and non-experts on such different premises that their results are very poorly connected.

Suggested Citation

  • Irene Valsecchi, 2008. "Learning from Experts," Working Papers 2008.35, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2008.35

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    2. Hiroyuki Nakata, 2003. "Modelling exchange of probabilistic opinions," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 21(2), pages 697-727, March.
    3. Olszewski, Wojciech, 2004. "Informal communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 180-200, August.
    4. Robert L. Winkler, 1968. "The Consensus of Subjective Probability Distributions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(2), pages 61-75, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rufo, M.J. & Martín, J. & Pérez, C.J., 2009. "Inference on exponential families with mixture of prior distributions," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 53(9), pages 3271-3280, July.
    2. Rufo, M.J. & Pérez, C.J. & Martín, J., 2010. "Merging experts' opinions: A Bayesian hierarchical model with mixture of prior distributions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 207(1), pages 284-289, November.

    More about this item


    Expert; Information Transmission; Learning;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm

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