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Committees and Status Quo Bias: Structural Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment

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  • Simon Quinn
  • Tom Gole

Abstract

When members of a committee have incentives to agree with each other, they over-weight public information: this can generate status quo bias. We test this hypothesis using a novel field experiment - a large debate tournament with random assignment of judges to committees. To analyse our experimental data, we develop a new structural methodology for estimating discrete dynamic Bayesian games using Markov Perfect Equililbrium. Our method allows for correlated unobservable signals and for rational dynamic updating of coordination preferences along the equilibrium path. Our structural estimates show that judges with greater desire to coordinate are more likely to vote for teams with better past records; this shows that, in a committee context, public information can cause coordination on weaker candidates.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Quinn & Tom Gole, 2014. "Committees and Status Quo Bias: Structural Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," Economics Series Working Papers 733, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:733
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    committees; discrete games; identification; field experiments; discrimination;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C57 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Econometrics of Games and Auctions
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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