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Is Transparency to no avail? Committee Decision-making, Pre-meetings, and Credible Deals

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  • Otto H. Swank

    ()
    (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

  • Bauke Visser

    ()
    (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

Abstract

Transparent decision-making processes are widely regarded as a prerequisite for the working of a representative democracy. It facilitates accountability, and citizens may suspect that decisions, if taken behind closed doors, do not promote their interests. Why else the secrecy? We provide a model of committee decision-making that explains the public’s demand for transparency, and committee members’ aversion to it. In line with case study evidence, we show how pressures to become transparent induce committee members to organize pre-meetings away from the public eye. Outcomes of pre-meetings are less determined, more anarchic, than those of formal meetings, but within bounds. We characterize feasible deals that are credible and will be endorsed in the formal meeting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 07-055/1.

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Date of creation: 17 Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20070055

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

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Keywords: Committee decision-making; reputational concerns; transparency; pre-meetings; deliberation;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Otto H. Swank & Bauke Visser, 2010. "Decision Making and Learning in a Globalizing World," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-034/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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