Information Transfer and Aggregation in an Uninformed Committee: A Model for the Selection and Use of Biased Expert Advice

Paper Number: 
1394
Creation date: 
08/25/2014
Abstract: 

A committee of five uses majority rule for decisions on two public goods. Individual committee member preferences depend on a state of nature that is unknown to the committee members but the state of nature is known to two experts who have preferences about committee decisions.  Experts have no vote on the committee but provide a recommendation to the committee at the opening of a meeting.  Two experts are selected who have known, opposing biases -a dyadic mechanism.  The results reveal that experts do not tell the truth but committee decisions are as if committee members know what the experts know.  The information transfer occurs because committee members anticipate the biases and properly infer the information held by the experts.

Paper Length: 
32
Keywords: 
cheap talk, committee experts, expert biases, experiments, majority rule, information aggregation, experimental economics, experimental political science
Publication Status: 
forthcoming: European Journal of Political Economy
Paper: