Experts with reputational concerns, even good ones, are averse to admitting what they don't know. This diminishes our trust in experts and, in turn, the role of science in society. We model the strategic communication of uncertainty, allowing that some questions are unanswerable. Combined with a new use of Markov sequential equilibrium, we recast prior negative results in a simple and stark light, and thereby obtain elusive positive results. When problems are potentially unanswerable, checking features of the problem itself that good experts will infer is more useful for inducing honest reporting than checking predictive success.
Backus, Matthew, and Andrew Little. "I Don't Know." Columbia Business School, May 14, 2018.
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