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Leadership in Groups: A Monetary Policy Experiment

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  • Alan S. Blinder
  • John Morgan

Abstract

In an earlier paper (Blinder and Morgan, 2005), we created an experimental apparatus in which Princeton University students acted as ersatz central bankers, making monetary policy decisions both as individuals and in groups. In this study, we manipulate the size and leadership structure of monetary policy decisionmaking. We find no evidence of superior performance by groups that have designated leaders. Groups without such leaders do as well as or better than groups with well-defined leaders. Furthermore, we find rather little difference between the performance of four-person and eight-person groups; the larger groups outperform the smaller groups by a very small margin. Finally, we successfully replicate our Princeton results, at least qualitatively: Groups perform better than individuals, and they do not require more "time" to do so.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2007. "Leadership in Groups: A Monetary Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 13391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13391
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Clare Lombardelli & James Proudman & James Talbot, 2005. "Committees Versus Individuals: An Experimental Analysis of Monetary Policy Decision-Making," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(1), May.
    2. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 203-217, May.
    3. Anne Sibert, 2006. "Central Banking by Committee," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 145-168, August.
    4. Szilárd Erhart & Jose-Luis Vasquez-Paz, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy committee size: Theory and cross country evidence," MNB Working Papers 2007/6, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary).
    5. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    6. Blinder, Alan S & Morgan, John, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better than One? Monetary Policy by Committee," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 789-811, October.
    7. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matthias Sutter & Eline van der Heijden, 2004. "Leadership and cooperation in public goods experiments," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-29, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
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    Cited by:

    1. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2011. "Too Many Cooks? Committees in Monetary Policy," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 78(2), pages 452-475, October.
    2. Giamattei, Marcus, 2015. "Cold Turkey vs. Gradualism - Evidence on Disinflation Strategies from a Laboratory Experiment," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-67-15, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    3. A. Jung, 2013. "Policymakers’ Interest Rate Preferences: Recent Evidence for Three Monetary Policy Committees," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(3), pages 150-197, September.
    4. Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2014. "Experiments on Monetary Policy and Central Banking," Research in Experimental Economics, in: John Duffy (ed.), Experiments in Macroeconomics, volume 17, pages 167-227, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    5. Camille Cornand & Frank Heinemann, 2015. "Macro-expérimentation autour des fonctions des banques centrales," Revue française d'économie, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(2), pages 3-47.
    6. Besedes, Tibor & Deck, Cary & Quintanar, Sarah & Sarangi, Sudipta & Shor, Mikhael, 2011. "Free-Riding and Performance in Collaborative and Non-Collaborative Groups," MPRA Paper 33948, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Erhart, Szilárd & Vasquez-Paz, Jose Luis, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy committee size: theory and cross country evidence," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 439, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    8. Mikael Apel & Carl Andreas Claussen & Petra Gerlach-Kristen & Petra Lennartsdotter & Øistein Røisland, 2013. "Monetary policy decisions – comparing theory and “inside” information from MPC members," Working Paper 2013/03, Norges Bank.
    9. Farvaque, Etienne & Matsueda, Norimichi & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume, 2009. "How monetary policy committees impact the volatility of policy rates," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 534-546, December.
    10. Szilard Erhart & Harmen Lehment & Jose Vasquez Paz, 2010. "Monetary policy committee size and inflation volatility," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 411-421, December.
    11. Alesina, Alberto & Stella, Andrea, 2010. "The Politics of Monetary Policy," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 1001-1054, Elsevier.
    12. Petra Gerlach-Kristen, 2009. "Outsiders at the Bank of England's MPC," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(6), pages 1099-1115, September.
    13. Baethge, Caroline, 2016. "Performance in the beauty contest: How strategic discussion enhances team reasoning," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Betriebswirtschaftliche Reihe B-17-16, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    14. Jimmy Chan & Alessandro Lizzeri & Wing Suen & Leeat Yariv, 2018. "Deliberating Collective Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(2), pages 929-963.
    15. Alan S. Blinder, 2009. "Making Monetary Policy by Committee," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(2), pages 171-194, August.
    16. Esteban Colla de Robertis, 2010. "Monetary Policy Committees and the Decision to Publish Voting Records," Money Affairs, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA, vol. 0(2), pages 97-139, July-Dece.
    17. Jung, Alexander & Kiss, Gergely, 2012. "Preference heterogeneity in the CEE inflation-targeting countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 445-460.
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    19. Yıldız AKKAYA & Refet S. GÜRKAYNAK, 2012. "Cari açık, bütçe dengesi, finansal istikrar ve para politikası: Heyecanlı bir dönemin izi," Iktisat Isletme ve Finans, Bilgesel Yayincilik, vol. 27(315), pages 93-119.
    20. Claussen, Carl Andreas & Matsen, Egil & Røisland, Øistein & Torvik, Ragnar, 2012. "Overconfidence, monetary policy committees and chairman dominance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 699-711.
    21. Johnson, Eric D. & Ellis, Michael A. & Kotenko, Diana, 2012. "Consensus building on the FOMC: An analysis of end of tenure policy preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 368-371.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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