Title: Delegating Decisions to Experts
Reference Number: 1017
Publication Date: February 2001

Li Hao
The University of Toronto

Wing Suen
The University of Hong Kong

A model of delegation and expertise is presented, with self-interested and privately-informed decisionmakers and experts. Conflict of interests exists both between the decisionmakers and the experts, and between experts within a team. A balanced team of experts with extreme and opposite biases is shown to be acceptable to a wide range of decisionmakers with diverse preferences, but the value of expertise from such a team is low. We also find that a decisionmaker wants to appoint experts who are less partisan than himself, in order to facilitate the pooling of information and thereby increase the quality of decisions by the expert team. Selective delegation, either by controlling the decisionmaking process or by conditioning the delegation decision on his own information, is another effective way for the decisionmaker to safeguard own interests while making use of expert information.

Published in the Journal of Political Economy 112:1 (part 2), Feb 2004, pp. S311-S335.

PDF: The paper is no longer available here. Please refer to published source.
Last modified: 01/23/2007