Do We Follow Others When We Should Outside the Lab? Evidence from the AP Top 25
Daniel F. Stone
Bowdoin College - Department of Economics
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
June 1, 2012
FRB of New York Staff Report No. 453
We use data from the Associated Press U.S. college football poll to analyze the ex-post optimality of social learning in a non-lab setting. The poll is a weekly subjective ranking of the top 25 teams, voted on by over 60 sports journalists. The aggregate ranks are publicly observable each week before voters update their personal ranks, so voters can potentially learn from their peers. Our results indicate that, while voters do learn from their peers to some extent, the informativeness of peer ranks appears to be under-valued.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: Social Learning, Conformity, Herding, Peers, Networks
JEL Classification: D80, D83, D84working papers series
Date posted: June 22, 2010 ; Last revised: June 27, 2012
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