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Information Acquisition and Transparency in Committees

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  • Gersbach, Hans
  • Hahn, Volker

Abstract

We study a two-period model of committee decision-making where members differ in their levels of efficiency. They may acquire costly information that enhances their ability to make a correct decision. We focus on the impact of transparency. We show that the principal's initial utility is higher under transparency, because members exert more effort, which makes correct decisions more likely. The principal also benefits from transparency later, unless transparency leads to an alignment of the signal qualities of highly efficient and less efficient committee members. In general, committee members are harmed by transparency.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6677.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6677

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Keywords: career concerns; committees; experts; information acquisition; transparency;

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References

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  1. Dino Gerardi & Leeat Yariv, 2007. "Information Acquisition in Committees," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1411R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Andrea Prat, 2005. "The Wrong Kind of Transparency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 862-877, June.
  3. Hahn, Volker, 2008. "Committees, sequential voting and transparency," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 366-385, November.
  4. Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-79, June.
  5. John Fingleton, 2005. "Career Concerns of Bargainers," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 179-204, April.
  6. Trueman, Brett, 1994. "Analyst Forecasts and Herding Behavior," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 97-124.
  7. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
  8. Gilat Levy, 2007. "Decision Making in Committees: Transparency, Reputation, and Voting Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 150-168, March.
  9. Job Swank & Otto Swank & Bauke Visser, 2006. "Transparency and Pre-meetings," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-051/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Anne Sibert, 2003. "Monetary Policy Committees: Individual and Collective Reputations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 649-665.
  11. Anne Sibert, 1999. "Monetary Policy Committees: Individual and Collective Reputations," CESifo Working Paper Series 226, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. 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.
  13. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2004. "Voting Transparency, Conflicting Interests, And The Appointment Of Central Bankers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16, pages 321-345, November.
  14. Gerling, Kerstin & Gruner, Hans Peter & Kiel, Alexandra & Schulte, Elisabeth, 2005. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 563-597, September.
  15. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2008. "Should the individual voting records of central bankers be published?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 655-683, May.
  16. Kaushik Mukhopadhaya, 2003. "Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 24-44, April.
  17. Bauke Visser & Otto H. Swank, 2005. "On Committees of Experts," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-028/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  18. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
  19. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
  20. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Svensson, Lars E O, 2009. "Transparency under Flexible Inflation Targeting: Experiences and Challenges," CEPR Discussion Papers 7213, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hahn, Volker, 2012. "On the Optimal Size of Committees of Experts," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62041, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Stephen Hansen & Michael McMahon & Andrea Prat, 2014. "Transparency and Deliberation within the FOMC: A Computational Linguistics Approach," CEP Discussion Papers dp1276, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Otto H. Swank & Bauke Visser, 2008. "Is Transparency to No Avail? Committee Decision-Making, Pre-Meetings, and Credible Deals," Economics Working Papers ECO2008/18, European University Institute.

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