Over-caution of large committees of experts
We provide an explanation for why committees may behave over-cautiously. A committee of experts makes a decision on a proposed innovation on behalf of 'society'. Each expert's signal about the innovation's quality is generated by the available evidence and the best practices of the experts' common discipline, which is only indirectly related to the true state of the world. In addition to a payoff linked to the adequateness of the committee's decision, each expert receives a disesteem payoff if he/she voted in favor of an ill-fated innovation. No matter how small the disesteem payoffs are, information aggregation fails in large committees: under any majority rule, the committee rejects the innovation almost surely.
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