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Friedman, Ezra
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper 1234
This paper presents a model of public debate in which experts attempt to influence public policy by making recommendations about controversial issues. However the decision to become an expert is taken to be endogenous, and consequently depends on the potential expert's bias. Under certain conditions there exist multiple equilibria, one in which only agents with strong biases are likely to become experts, and as a result the public gives experts little credibility, and others in which more moderates function as experts, and the public places more weight on their reports. In the most informative equilibrium, increasing the hetergeneity of the public or decreasing the number of potential experts leads to an improvement in public information.
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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