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Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group

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  • Caillaud, Bernard
  • Tirole, Jean

Abstract

The paper explores strategies that the sponsor of a proposal may employ to convince a qualified majority of members in a group to approve the proposal. Adopting a mechanism design approach to communication, it emphasizes the need to distill information selectively to key group members and to engineer persuasion cascades in which members who are brought on board sway the opinion of others. The paper shows that higher congruence among group members benefits the sponsor. The extent of congruence between the group and the sponsor, and the size and the governance of the group, are also shown to condition the sponsor's ability to get his project approved. (JEL D71, D72, D83)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 435.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Publication status: Published in American Economic Review, vol.�97, n°5, décembre 2007, p.�1877-1900.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:5969

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  1. Farrell, J. & Gibbons, R., 1989. "Cheap Talk With Two Audiences," Working papers 518, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  19. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
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