On the informational content of advice: A theoretical and experimental study

Yaw Nyarko, Andrew Schotter, Barry Sopher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the market for advice and the underlying perception that advice is useful and informative. We do this by first providing a theoretical examination of the informational content of advice and then by setting up a series of experimental markets where this advice is sold. In these markets we provide bidders with a demographic profile of the "experts" offering advice. The results of our experiment generate several interesting findings. The raw bid data suggest that subjects bid significantly more for data than they do for advice. Second, in the market for advice there appears to be no consensus as to who are the best advisors although on average economists demand the highest mean price and women suffer a discount. In addition, we find that whether a subject suffers from a representativeness bias in the way he or she processes data has an impact on how he or she bids for advice and on his or her willingness to follow it once offered. Finally, we find that on average people impute a low level of informativeness onto advice, consistent with their bidding behavior for data versus advice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-452
Number of pages20
JournalEconomic Theory
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Advice
  • Decision making
  • Experiments
  • Risk aversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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