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Herding Among Bureaucrats

  • Branko Boskovic, David P.Byrne, Arvind Magesan

The herding of expert opinions is often rationalized as the outcome of social learning. However,experts are typically individuals with career concerns. As a result, herding can also arise from the fear of opposing consensus opinion and the potential career consequences of being wrong. We empirically test for social learning and career concerns using novel data on bureaucrats' expert opinions over whether to publicly provide health insurance for pharmaceuticals. We and robust evidence that career concerns are an important source of herd behavior in these policy choices. Our findings have implications for the delegation of policy-making to experts.

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File URL: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/784357/1158.pdf
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Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1158.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1158
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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  1. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "Career Concerns Of Mutual Fund Managers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 389-432, May.
  2. Buera, Francisco & Monge-Naranjo, Alexander & Primiceri, Giorgio E, 2010. "Learning the Wealth of Nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 8030, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. David Dranove & David Meltzer, 1994. "Do Important Drugs Reach the Market Sooner?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 402-423, Autumn.
  4. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Home Pages _068, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Margaret K. Kyle, 2006. "The role of firm characteristics in pharmaceutical product launches," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 602-618, 09.
  6. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
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