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Public Debate Among Experts

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  • Ezra Friedman

Abstract

This paper presents a model of public debate in which experts attempt to influence public policy by making recommendations about controversial issues. However the decision to become an expert is taken to be endogenous, and consequently depends on the potential expert's bias. Under certain conditions there exist multiple equilibria, one in which only agents with strong biases are likely to become experts, and as a result the public gives experts little credibility, and others in which more moderates function as experts, and the public places more weight on their reports. In the most informative equilibrium, increasing the hetergeneity of the public or decreasing the number of potential experts leads to an improvement in public information.

Suggested Citation

  • Ezra Friedman, 1998. "Public Debate Among Experts," Discussion Papers 1234, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1234
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    File URL: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/papers/1234.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McAfee, R. Preston & Vincent, Daniel, 1997. "Sequentially Optimal Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 246-276.
    2. Susanne Lohmann, 1995. "A Signaling Model Of Competitive Political Pressures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 181-206, November.
    3. Myerson, Roger B., 1998. "Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 111-131, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2001. "A Model of Expertise," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 747-775.

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