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Committees and special interests

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  • Felgenhauer, Mike
  • Grüner, Hans Peter

Abstract

Some committees convene behind closed doors while others publicly discuss issues and make their decisions. This paper studies the role of open and closed committee decision making in presence of external influence. We show that restricting the information of interest groups may reduce the bias towards special interest politics. Moreover, there are cases where benefits from increasing the number of decision makers can only be reaped if the committee's sessions are not public. In open committees benefits from voting insincerely accrue not only when a decision maker's vote is pivotal. As the number of voters increases, the cost of voting insincerely declines in an open committee because the probability of being pivotal declines. This is not the case in a closed committee where costs and benefits of insincere voting only arise when a voter is pivotal. JEL Classification: D71, D72, D73

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0293.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20030293

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Keywords: Committees; common agency; interest groups; voting;

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References

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  1. Dino Gerardi & Leeat Yariv, 2003. "Putting Your Ballot Where Your Mouth Is: An Analysis of Collective Choice with Communication," UCLA Economics Working Papers 827, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1994. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Discussion Papers 1117, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Timothy J. Fedderson & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Abstention in Elections with Asymmetric Information and Diverse Preferences," Discussion Papers 1195, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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Cited by:
  1. Le Breton, Michel & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2007. "Legislative Lobbying under Political Uncertainty," IDEI Working Papers 493, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Bhattacharjee, Arnab & Holly, Sean, 2009. "Understanding Interactions in Social Networks and Committees," SIRE Discussion Papers 2009-53, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  3. Winschel, Evguenia, 2012. "Coalition formation for unpopular reform in the presence of private reputation costs," Working Papers 13-08, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  4. Mike Felgenhauer, 2012. "Revealing information in electoral competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 55-68, October.
  5. Gersbach, Hans & Hahn, Volker, 2005. "Voting Transparency in a Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 5155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Esteban Colla De Robertis & Last: Colla De Robertis, 2010. "Monetary policy committees and the decision to publish voting records," Documentos de Investigación - Research Papers 1, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA.
  7. Felgenhauer, Mike, 2010. "Transparency and special interests," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 4-7, January.
  8. Kiel, Alexandra & Gerling, Kerstin & Schulte, Elisabeth & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2003. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: a survey," Working Paper Series 0256, European Central Bank.
  9. Felgenhauer, Mike & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2007. "Safety Nets Within Banks," CEPR Discussion Papers 6317, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Mike Felgenhauer, 2007. "Policy Bias Equivalence under Common Agency," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 90(3), pages 295-312, April.

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