Influence and Information in Team Decisions: Evidence from Medical Residency

I study team decisions among physician trainees. Exploiting a discontinuity in team roles across trainee tenure, I find evidence that teams alter decision-making, concentrating influence in the hands of senior trainees. I also demonstrate little convergence in variation of trainee effects despite intensive training. This general pattern of trainee effects on team decision-making exists in all types of decisions and settings that I examine. In analyses evaluating mechanisms behind this pattern, I find support for the idea that significant experiential learning occurs during training and that teams place more weight on judgments of senior trainees in order to aggregate information.

February 1, 2021