Participatory Decision Making: A Field Experiment on Manipulating the Votes
AbstractMany believe that deliberative democracy, where individuals discuss alternatives before voting on them, should result in collectively superior outcomes because voters become better informed and decisions are justified using reason. These deliberations typically involve a moderator, however, whose role has been under-examined. We conduct a field experiment to test the effects moderators may have. Participants in a class of 107 students voted on options over their writing and exam requirements. Before voting, they participated in group discussions of about five people each with one moderator. Some (randomly assigned) moderators remained neutral throughout, while others made limited interventions, supporting a specific option. We find a substantial moderator effect. Our experiment is structured like deliberations used world-wide to make community decisions and thus should have some external validity. The results indicate that if organized interest groups had influence over moderators, they might be able to hijack a deliberative decision-making process.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels in its series EERI Research Paper Series with number EERI_RP_2010_19.
Date of creation: 19 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Participatory Decision Making; Field Experiment; Voting.;
Other versions of this item:
- Vreeland, James & Spada, Paolo, 2010. "Participatory Decision Making: A Field Experiment on Manipulating the Votes," MPRA Paper 24048, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
- G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
- G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
- G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
- K20 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - General
- K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-09-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2010-09-03 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-CDM-2010-09-03 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-EXP-2010-09-03 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-POL-2010-09-03 (Positive Political Economics)
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