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Voting in Small Committees

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We analyze the voting behavior of a small committee that has to approve or reject a proposal whose return is uncertain. Members have heterogenous preferences: some members want to maximize the expected value while other members have a bias toward project approval and ignore their private information. We analyze different voting games when information is costless and communication is not possible, and we provide insights on the optimal composition of these committees. Our main result is that the presence of biased members can improve the voting outcome by simplifying the strategies of unbiased members. Thus, committees with heterogeneous members can function at least as well as homogeneous committees and in some cases they perform better. In particular, when value-maximizing members hold 51% of votes, the socially optimal equilibrium becomes unique.

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Paper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa in its series Working Papers - Economics with number wp2011_01.rdf.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2011_01.rdf

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Keywords: Voting; Small committees.;

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  15. Paolo Balduzzi & Clara Graziano & Annalisa Luporini, 2011. "Voting in Corporate Boards with Heterogeneous Preferences," Working Papers - Economics wp2011_02.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  16. Roger B. Myerson, 1994. "Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Discussion Papers 1103, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Hongbin Cai, 2009. "Costly participation and heterogeneous preferences in informational committees," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 173-189.
  18. Harris, Mark & Spencer, Christopher, 2008. "Decade of dissent: explaining the dissent voting behavior of Bank of England MPC members," MPRA Paper 9100, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  21. 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.
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