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Leadership in Groups: A Monetary Policy Experiment

  • Alan S. Blinder
  • John Morgan

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13391.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13391.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Publication status: published as Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2008. "Leadership in Groups: A Monetary Policy Experiment," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(4), pages 117-150, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13391
Note: EFG ME
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  1. 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.
  2. Anne Sibert, 2006. "Central Banking by Committee," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 145-168, 08.
  3. Lombardelli, Clare & James Proudman & James Talbot, 2003. "Committees versus individuals: an experimental analysis of monetary policy decision-making," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 142, Royal Economic Society.
  4. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1999. "Is the Fed too timid? Monetary policy in an uncertain world," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 99-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  6. 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 (the central bank of Hungary).
  7. 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.
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