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Media and the Selection of Experts

by and

WP 2022-07.

Executive Summary

The paper addresses the media filtering of experts. We consider a media firm that asks experts to assess if a given problem is major or minor so it can report the type of the problem. The media firm always first asks a generalist who can be contacted with zero cost but has limited accuracy. After observing the generalist’s report, the media firm decides whether to contact a specialist. The specialist can identify the type of the problem with certainty; however, finding one is costly. We analyze how equilibria depend on the media search costs and the probability that the true state later reveals itself to the public. We demonstrate that the probability that the true state will ultimately be revealed in a way obvious to the lay public is the critical determinant of the accuracy of the reported expert testimony. If the revelation probability is low, strategizing by the experts and the media bias may prevent accurate expertise from being broadcasted. The paper suggests implementing techniques that improve the falsifiability of expert forecasts to mitigate the problem.


Media and the Selection of Experts

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