Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2864563
 


 



Distrust in Experts and the Origins of Disagreement


Ing-Haw Cheng


Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

Alice Hsiaw


Brandeis University - International Business School

January 30, 2017

Tuck School of Business Working Paper No. 2864563

Abstract:     
Disagreements about substance and expert credibility often go hand-in-hand and are hard to resolve on several issues including economics, climate science, and medicine. We argue that disagreement arises because individuals overinterpret how much they can learn when both substance and expert credibility are uncertain. Our learning bias predicts that: 1) Disagreement about credibility drives disagreement about substance, 2) First impressions of credibility drive long-lasting disagreement, 3) Under-trust is difficult to unravel, 4) Encountering experts in different order generates disagreement, and 5) Confirmation bias and/or its opposite arise endogenously. These effects provide a theory for the origins of disagreement.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 60

Keywords: disagreement, trust, polarization, learning, expectations, experts

JEL Classification: A11, D01, D03, D83, D84, G02


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Date posted: November 4, 2016 ; Last revised: January 31, 2017

Suggested Citation

Cheng, Ing-Haw and Hsiaw, Alice, Distrust in Experts and the Origins of Disagreement (January 30, 2017). Tuck School of Business Working Paper No. 2864563. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2864563

Contact Information

Ing-Haw Cheng (Contact Author)
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth ( email )
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
Alice Hsiaw
Brandeis University - International Business School ( email )
Mailstop 32
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States
HOME PAGE: http://people.brandeis.edu/~ahsiaw/
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