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A Sharp Test of the Portability of Expertise

43 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2015 Last revised: 6 Jun 2017

Etan A. Green

Wharton - Operations, Information and Decisions

Justin M. Rao

Microsoft Research; Microsoft Corporation - Microsoft Research - Redmond

David M. Rothschild

Microsoft Research - NYC

Date Written: June 5, 2017

Abstract

To what extent does expertise depend on context? We observe professionals perform a task that is logically isomorphic to — but contextually distinct from — a familiar task in which they are skilled. We find that performance plummets when contextual cues disappear, suggesting that the expertise we observe on the familiar task is more heuristic than conceptual and does not travel far.

Keywords: expertise, field vs. lab, probabilistic judgment

JEL Classification: D81, C91, C93

Suggested Citation

Green, Etan A. and Rao, Justin M. and Rothschild, David M., A Sharp Test of the Portability of Expertise (June 5, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2656268 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2656268

Etan A. Green (Contact Author)

Wharton - Operations, Information and Decisions ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Justin M. Rao

Microsoft Research ( email )

641 Avenue of Americas
7th Floor
New York, NY 11249
United States

Microsoft Corporation - Microsoft Research - Redmond ( email )

Building 99
Redmond, WA
United States

David M. Rothschild

Microsoft Research - NYC ( email )

641 6th Ave., 7th Floor
New York, NY 10011
United States

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