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Article
Sequential Aggregation of Verifiable Information
Journal of Public Economics (2011)
  • Volker Hahn, University of Konstanz
Abstract
We introduce the notion of verifiable information into a model of sequential debate among experts who are motivated by career concerns. We show that self-censorship may hamper the efficiency of information aggregation, as experts withhold evidence contradicting the conventional wisdom. In this case, silence is telling and undermines the prevailing view over time if this view is incorrect. As a result, withholding arguments about the correct state of the world is only a temporary phenomenon, and the probability of a correct decision always converges to one as the group of experts becomes large. For small groups, a simple mechanism the principal can use to improve decision-making is to appoint a devil's advocate.
Keywords
  • Experts,
  • committees,
  • career concerns,
  • verifiable information,
  • information aggregation
Disciplines
Publication Date
2011
Citation Information
Volker Hahn. "Sequential Aggregation of Verifiable Information" Journal of Public Economics Vol. 95 Iss. 11-12 (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/volker_hahn/6/