Are groups better planners than individuals? An experimental analysis

Enrica Carbone, Gerardo Infante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We present the results of an experiment comparing group and individual planning in the domain of lifecycle consumption/saving decisions. Individual decision making is compared to two group treatments, which differ based on the presence of a rematching rule. We find that individuals and groups differ in how they solve the intertemporal consumption problem, but not in how they improve their consumption planning within a sequence. Individuals’ performance improves across sequences, groups without rematching perform approximately the same, while groups with rematching do significantly worse. Our main finding is that while groups perform better than individuals in the first sequence, this difference seems to disappear in the second lifecycle. Results show that in the second sequence groups in the rematching treatment deviate substantially more from optimum than groups that are left stable across sequences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Early online date23 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Collective decision making
  • Intertemporal consumer choice
  • Life-cycle
  • Risk
  • Experimental economics

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