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Meetings with Costly Participation: An Empirical Investigation

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  • Matthew A. Turner
  • Quinn Weninger

Abstract

Despite their importance in economic life, meetings with costly participation are little studied. This paper is an empirical analysis of participation at public meetings. We investigate basic and previously unaddressed questions about meetings with costly participation. Who goes? Does attendance vary with observable characteristics? Do meeting attendees represent the interested population? We find that (1), the opinions of participants do not represent the opinions of the entire regulated population, (2) that the opinions of participants are extreme relative to the whole population, (3) that private information does not affect participation decisions in an important way, and (4), that small changes to meeting protocols have the potential to manipulate the sample of participants. These results lay a foundation for the problem of tailoring meeting protocols to achieve particular welfare objectives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number mturner-01-02.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jul 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:mturner-01-02

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  1. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  2. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000232, David K. Levine.
  3. Bulkley, G. & Myles, G.D. & Pearson, B.R., 2000. "On the Membership of Decision-Making Committees," Discussion Papers, Exeter University, Department of Economics 0009, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  4. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
  5. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  6. Martin Osborne & Jeffry Rosenthal & Matthew A. Turner, 1998. "Meetings with costly participation," Working Papers, University of Toronto, Department of Economics mturner-98-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  7. Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "The Swing Voter's Curse," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Hao Li & Sherwin Rosen & Wing Suen, 2000. "Conflicts and Common Interests in Committees," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers, Econometric Society 0341, Econometric Society.
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