Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/171579
Authors: 
Hahn, Volker
Year of Publication: 
2010
Series/Report no.: 
Economics Working Paper Series 10/136
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 the correct state of the world being revealed always converges to one as the group of experts becomes large. For small groups, a simple mechanism the principal can use to improve decisionmaking is to appoint a devil’s advocate.
Subjects: 
experts
committees
career concerns
verifiable information
information aggregation
JEL: 
D71
D82
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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