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Information Acquisition in Committees

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Abstract

The goal of this paper is to illustrate the significance of information acquisition in mechanism design. We provide a stark example of a mechanism design problem in a collective choice environment with information acquisition. We concentrate on committees that are comprised of agents sharing a common goal and having a joint task. Members of the committee decide whether to acquire costly information or not at the outset and are then asked to report their private information. The designer can choose the size of the committee, as well as the procedure by which it selects the collective choice, i.e., the correspondence between agents’ reports and distributions over collective choices. We show that the ex-ante optimal device may be ex-post inefficient, i.e., lead to suboptimal aggregation of information from a statistical point of view. For particular classes of parameters, we describe the full structure of the optimal mechanisms.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d14a/d1411-r.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1411R.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Games and Economic Behavior (2008), 62: 436-459
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1411r

Note: CFP 1238.
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Keywords: Collective choice; Mechanism design; Information acquisition;

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  1. Dino Gerardi & Leeat Yariv, 2004. "Committee Design in the Presence of Communication," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm351, Yale School of Management.
  2. E. Auriol & R. Gary-Bobo, 2000. "On the Optimal Number of Representatives," THEMA Working Papers 2000-01, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  3. Smorodinsky, Rann & Tennenholtz, Moshe, 2006. "Overcoming free riding in multi-party computations--The anonymous case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 385-406, May.
  4. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-24, June.
  5. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
  6. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2002. "Information Acquisition and Efficient Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1007-1033, May.
  7. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
  8. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
  9. Hao Li, 2001. "A Theory of Conservatism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 617-636, June.
  10. Al-Najjar, Nabil I. & Smorodinsky, Rann, 2000. "Pivotal Players and the Characterization of Influence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 318-342, June.
  11. Gershkov, Alex & Szentes, Balázs, 2009. "Optimal voting schemes with costly information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 36-68, January.
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