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Let the Experts Decide? Asymmetric Information, Abstention, and Coordination in Standing Committees

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  • Rebecca Morton

    (New York University)

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We examine abstention when voters in standing committees are asymmetrically informed and there are multiple pure strategy equilibria-swing voter's curse (SVC) equilibria where voters with low quality information abstain and equilibria when all participants vote their information. When the asymmetry in information quality is large, we find that voting groups largely coordinate on the SVC equilibrium which is also Pareto Optimal. However, we find that when the asymmetry in information quality is not large and the Pareto Optimal equilibrium is for all to participate, significant numbers of voters with low quality information abstain. Furthermore, we find that information asymmetry induces voters with low quality information to coordinate on a non-equilibrium outcome. This suggests that coordination on "letting the experts" decide is a likely voting norm that sometimes validates SVC equilibrium predictions but other times does not.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 08-25.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0825

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References

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  1. Adam Meirowitz, 2002. "Informative voting and condorcet jury theorems with a continuum of types," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 219-236.
  2. Van Weelden, Richard, 2008. "Deliberation Rules and Voting," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 3(1), pages 83-88, January.
  3. S. Nageeb Ali & Jacob K. Goeree & Navin Kartik & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2008. "Information Aggregation in Standing and Ad Hoc Committees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 181-86, May.
  4. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Giovanna Devetag & Andreas Ortmann, 2006. "When and Why? A Critical Survey on Coordination Failure in the Laboratory," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp302, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  6. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2008. "Information Aggregation and Strategic Abstention in Large Laboratory Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 194-200, May.
  7. Joseph McMurray, 2008. "Information and Voting: the Wisdom of the Experts versus the Wisdom of the Masses," Wallis Working Papers WP59, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  8. Clark, Kenneth & Sefton, Martin, 2001. "Repetition and signalling: experimental evidence from games with efficient equilibria," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 357-362, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Bhattacharya, Sourav & Duffy, John & Kim, Sun-Tak, 2014. "Compulsory versus voluntary voting: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 111-131.
  2. David Stadelmann & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Bounded Rationality and Voting Decisions Exploring a 160-Year Period," QuBE Working Papers 005, QUT Business School.
  3. Paolo Balduzzi & Clara Graziano & Annalisa Luporini, 2012. "Voting in Small Committees," CESifo Working Paper Series 3732, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Luís Francisco Aguiar-Conraria & Pedro C. Magalhães & Christoph A. Vanberg, 2013. "Experimental evidence that quorum rules discourage turnout and promote election boycotts," NIPE Working Papers 14/2013, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.

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