Influential Opinion Leaders

CERGE-EI Working Paper Series No. 458

29 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2012 Last revised: 28 Nov 2013

See all articles by Antoine Loeper

Antoine Loeper

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Jakub Steiner

Charles University in Prague - CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute)

Colin Stewart

University of Toronto - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 24, 2013

Abstract

We present a two-stage coordination game in which early choices of experts with special interests are observed by followers who move in the second stage. We show that the equilibrium outcome is biased toward the experts’ interests even though followers know the distribution of expert interests and can account for it when evaluating observed experts’ actions. Expert influence is fully decentralized in the sense that each individual expert has a negligible impact. The bias in favor of experts results from a social learning effect that is multiplied through a coordination motive. The total effect can be large even if the direct social learning effect is small. We apply our results to the onset of social movements and to the diffusion of products with network externalities.

Keywords: Voting, coordination, experts

JEL Classification: D72, D82, D83

Suggested Citation

Loeper, Antoine and Steiner, Jakub and Stewart, Colin, Influential Opinion Leaders (September 24, 2013). CERGE-EI Working Paper Series No. 458. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2191093 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2191093

Antoine Loeper (Contact Author)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ( email )

CL. de Madrid 126
Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

Jakub Steiner

Charles University in Prague - CERGE-EI (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute) ( email )

P.O. Box 882
7 Politickych veznu
Prague 1, 111 21
Czech Republic
+420 605 286 947 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cerge-ei.cz

Colin Stewart

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

150 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G7
Canada

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