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Deliberation, leadership and information aggregation

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Abstract

We analyse committees of voters who take a decision between two options as a two- stage process. In a discussion stage, voters share non-verifiable information about a private signal concerning what is the best option. In a voting stage, votes are cast and one of the options is implemented. We introduce the possibility of leadership whereby a certain voter, the leader, is more influential than the rest at the discussion stage even though she is not better informed. We study information transmission and characterize the effects of the leader on the deliberation process. We find, amongst others, that both the quality of the decision taken by the committee and how truthful voters are at the discussion stage depends non-monotonically on how influential the leader is. In particular, although a leader whose influence is weak does not disrupt the decision process of the committee in any way, a very influential leader is less disruptive than a moderately influential leader.

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Paper provided by Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico in its series Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE with number 2013-37.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 19 Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ucm:doicae:1337

Note: We would like to thank Salvador Barbería, Matthias Dahm, Antoine Loeper, Antonio Nicolo, ChrisWallace and seminar participants at the University of Aberdeen, the University of Bath, the University of Leicester, the University of Manchester and the Universidade de Vigo. Department of Economics, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7AY, United Kingdom. j.rivas@bath.ac.uk, http://people.bath.ac.uk/fjrr20. Facultad CC. Económicas y Empresariales. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28223 Madrid, Spain. carmelor@ccee.ucm.es, https://sites.google.com/site/carmeloatucm.
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Keywords: Committees; Information Aggregation; Leadership; Voting;

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  1. Torun Dewan & David P Myatt, 2012. "On the rhetorical strategies of leaders: Speaking clearly, standing back, and stepping down," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(4), pages 431-460, October.
  2. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-24, June.
  3. A. Rubinstein & J. Glazer, . "Debates and Decisions, On a Rationale of Argumentation Rules," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 00s7, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  4. César Martinelli, 2004. "Would Rational Voters Acquire Costly Information?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000593, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Ran Spiegler, 2003. "Argumentation in Multi-Issue Debates," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000204, David K. Levine.
  6. Alex Gershkov & Balazs Szentes, 2004. "Optimal Voting Schemes with Costly Information Acquisition," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 122247000000000311, www.najecon.org.
  7. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
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