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

31 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2014 Last revised: 12 Sep 2014

See all articles by Charles R. Plott

Charles R. Plott

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Morgan Llewellyn

Calgent

Date Written: August 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.

Keywords: cheap talk, committee experts, expert biases, experiments, majority rule, information aggregation, experimental economics, experimental political science

JEL Classification: C70, C92, D70, D80, K40

Suggested Citation

Plott, Charles R. and Llewellyn, Morgan, Information Transfer and Aggregation in an Uninformed Committee: A Model for the Selection and Use of Biased Expert Advice (August 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2491776 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2491776

Charles R. Plott (Contact Author)

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

1200 East California Blvd.
337 Baxter Hall
Pasadena, CA 91125
United States
626-395-4209 (Phone)

Morgan Llewellyn

Calgent ( email )

11011 Torreyana Road
San Diego, CA 92121
United States

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