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Faculty of Economics

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Agranov, M., Elliott, M., Ortoleva, P.

I know best: Scepticism about the Knowledge of Experts and Peers on Economics Predictions

CWPE2423

Abstract: Are individuals willing to change their minds when experts or their peers disagree with them? In an incentivized experiment on a representative sample, we collect binary predictions on unemployment and inflation. Then, we ask whether participants would like to change their predictions if the (vast) majority of experts (or peers) made the other choice. Very few participants are willing to change their predictions indicating a profound lack of trust in experts and the collective wisdom of peers. Nevertheless, there is variation by demographics. Further, scepticism in experts in this domain helps explain participants intention to vaccinate, providing some external validity.

Keywords: Trust, Experts, Social learning, Information policies

JEL Codes: D80 D83 C90

Author links: Matthew Elliott  

PDF: https://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research-files/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe2423.pdf