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Symmetric and Asymmetric Committees

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  • Ruth Ben-Yashar
  • Leif Danziger

Abstract

This paper studies the assignment of decision makers to two committees that make decisions by a simple majority rule. There is an even number of decision makers at each of various skill levels and each committee has an odd number of members. Surprisingly, even with the symmetric assumptions in the spirit of Condorcet, a symmetric composition of committees is not always optimal. In other words, decision makers with different skill levels should not generally be evenly divided among the committees. However, in the special case of only two skill levels, it is optimal to compose the committees evenly.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-06/cesifo1_wp3501.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3501.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3501

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Keywords: committees; collective decision making; simple majority rule;

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References

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  1. Ladha, Krishna K., 1995. "Information pooling through majority-rule voting: Condorcet's jury theorem with correlated votes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 353-372, May.
  2. Sah, R.K., 1991. "Fallibility In Human Organizations And Political Systems," Papers 625, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  3. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000232, David K. Levine.
  4. Thomas R Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 2001. "A Strategic Calculus of Voting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000039, David K. Levine.
  5. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
  6. Ruth Ben-Yashar & Igal Milchtaich, 2007. "First and second best voting rules in committees," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 453-486, October.
  7. Eyal Baharad & Shmuel Nitzan, 2007. "Scoring rules: an alternative parameterization," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 187-190, January.
  8. Nitzan, Shmuel & Paroush, Jacob, 1982. "Optimal Decision Rules in Uncertain Dichotomous Choice Situations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 23(2), pages 289-97, June.
  9. Ben-Yashar, Ruth C & Nitzan, Shmuel I, 1997. "The Optimal Decision Rule for Fixed-Size Committees in Dichotomous Choice Situations: The General Result," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 175-86, February.
  10. Ruth Ben-Yashar & Sarit Kraus, 2002. "Optimal collective dichotomous choice under quota constraints," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 839-852.
  11. Lloyd Shapley & Bernard Grofman, 1984. "Optimizing group judgmental accuracy in the presence of interdependencies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 329-343, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Ben-Yashar, Ruth & Danziger, Leif, 2014. "On the Optimal Composition of Committees," IZA Discussion Papers 7963, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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