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Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group

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  • Bernard Caillaud
  • Jean Tirole

Abstract

The paper explores strategies that the sponsor of a proposal may employ to convince a qualified majority of members in a group to approve the proposal. Adopting a mechanism design approach to communication, it emphasizes the need to distill information selectively to key group members and to engineer persuasion cascades in which members who are brought on board sway the opinion of others. The paper shows that higher congruence among group members benefits the sponsor. The extent of congruence between the group and the sponsor, and the size and the governance of the group, are also shown to condition the sponsor's ability to get his project approved. (JEL D71, D72, D83)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.97.5.1877
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec07/20060708_app.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1877-1900

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:5:p:1877-1900

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.5.1877
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References

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  1. Alex Gershkov & Balazs Szentes, 2004. "Optimal Voting Schemes with Costly Information Acquisition," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 122247000000000311, www.najecon.org.
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  8. Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter, 2001. "Information aggregation in debate: who should speak first?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 393-421, September.
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  13. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
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  19. Farrell, J. & Gibbons, R., 1989. "Cheap Talk With Two Audiences," Working papers 518, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  20. repec:sae:ecolab:v:16:y:2006:i:2:p:1-2 is not listed on IDEAS
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