Ambiguous Aggregation of Expert Opinions: The Case of Optimal R&D Investment

How should a decision-maker allocate R&D funds when a group of experts provides divergent estimates on a technology's potential effectiveness? To address this question, we propose a simple decision-theoretic framework that takes into account ambiguity over the aggregation of expert opinion and a decision-maker's attitude towards it. In line with the paper's focus on R&D investment, decision variables in our model may affect experts' subjective probability distributions of the future potential of a technology. Using results from convex optimization, we are able to establish a number of analytical results including a closed-form expression of our model's value function, as well as a thorough investigation of its differentiability properties. We apply our framework to original data from a recent expert elicitation survey on solar technology. The analysis suggests that more aggressive investment in solar technology R&D is likely to yield significant dividends even, or rather especially, after taking ambiguous aggregation into account.


Issue Date:
2012-02
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/121719
Total Pages:
45
JEL Codes:
C61; D81; Q42
Series Statement:
CCSD
4.2012




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-26

Fulltext:
Download fulltext
PDF

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
1
2
3
 
(Not yet reviewed)