IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/red/sed005/683.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Wisdom of the Minority

Author

Listed:
  • Steven Callander
  • Johannes Horner

Abstract

We consider a simple variant of the canonical model of social learning and show that in many situations it is optimal for an agent to abandon her own information and follow the minority rather than the majority. This possibility depends on two economically meaningful requirements: agents are differentially informed and observe only the number of agents having chosen each option, such as consumers observing only market shares. We show that minority wisdom arises when information is sufficiently heterogeneous and the well informed are not overly abundant, yet the conditions necessary are not overly restrictive. In fact, it is possible for the minority to be wise even when the minority consists of a lone dissenter and a majority of citizens are well informed.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Callander & Johannes Horner, 2005. "The Wisdom of the Minority," 2005 Meeting Papers 683, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed005:683
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2005/paper_683.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ramon Caminal & Xavier Vives, 1996. "Why Market Shares Matter: An Information-Based Theory," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 221-239, Summer.
    2. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
    3. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
    4. Lones Smith & Peter Sorensen, 2000. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 371-398, March.
    5. Celen, Bogachan & Kariv, Shachar, 2004. "Observational learning under imperfect information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 72-86, April.
    6. Prendergast, Canice, 1993. "A Theory of "Yes Men."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 757-770, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jonathan E. Alevy & Michael S. Haigh & John List, 2006. "Information Cascades: Evidence from An Experiment with Financial Market Professionals," NBER Working Papers 12767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Corazzini, Luca & Pavesi, Filippo & Petrovich, Beatrice & Stanca, Luca, 2012. "Influential listeners: An experiment on persuasion bias in social networks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1276-1288.
    3. Song, Yangbo, 2016. "Social learning with endogenous observation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 324-333.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Munther A. Dahleh & Ilan Lobel & Asuman Ozdaglar, 2011. "Bayesian Learning in Social Networks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1201-1236.
    5. Jacob K. Goeree & Thomas R. Palfrey & Brian W. Rogers & Richard D. McKelvey, 2007. "Self-Correcting Information Cascades," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 733-762.
    6. Drehmann, Mathias & Oechssler, Jorg & Roider, Andreas, 2007. "Herding with and without payoff externalities -- an internet experiment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 391-415, April.
    7. Roe, Brian E. & Teisl, Mario F., 2004. "Consumption Externalities, Information Policies, And Multiple Equilibria: Evidence For Genetically Engineered Food Markets," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20243, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    8. Celen, Bogachan & Hyndman, Kyle, 2006. "Endogenous Network Formation In the Laboratory," MPRA Paper 1440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Ilan Lobel & Evan Sadler, 2016. "Preferences, Homophily, and Social Learning," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 64(3), pages 564-584, June.
    10. Jin Huang, 2017. "To Glance or to Peruse: Observational and Active Learning from Peer Consumers," Working Papers wp2018_1716, CEMFI.
    11. Shachar Kariv, 2005. "Overconfidence and Informational Cascades," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000406, UCLA Department of Economics.
    12. Larson, Nathan, 2015. "Inertia in social learning from a summary statistic," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 596-626.
    13. Jin Huang, 2017. "To Glance or to Peruse: Observational and Active Learning from Peer Consumers," Working Papers wp2017_1716, CEMFI.
    14. Pooya Molavi & Ceyhun Eksin & Alejandro Ribeiro & Ali Jadbabaie, 2016. "Learning to Coordinate in Social Networks," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 64(3), pages 605-621, June.
    15. James C. D. Fisher & John Wooders, 2017. "Interacting information cascades: on the movement of conventions between groups," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 63(1), pages 211-231, January.
    16. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2008. "Thought and Behavior Contagion in Capital Markets," MPRA Paper 9164, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Subir Bose & Gerhard Orosel & Marco Ottaviani & Lise Vesterlund, 2008. "Monopoly pricing in the binary herding model," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 37(2), pages 203-241, November.
    18. Laurens G. Debo & Christine Parlour & Uday Rajan, 2012. "Signaling Quality via Queues," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(5), pages 876-891, May.
    19. Subir Bose & Gerhard Orosel & Marco Ottaviani & Lise Vesterlund, 2006. "Dynamic monopoly pricing and herding," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 910-928, December.
    20. Bogaçhan Çelen & Shachar Kariv, 2004. "Distinguishing Informational Cascades from Herd Behavior in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 484-498, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed005:683. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Christian Zimmermann (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.