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Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group

  • Bernard Caillaud
  • Jean Tirole

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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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.97.5.1877
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec07/20060708_app.pdf
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1877-1900

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:5:p:1877-1900
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.5.1877
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  1. Watson, Joel & Bull, Jesse, 2006. "Hard Evidence and Mechanism Design," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt7973v805, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Krishna, V. & Morgan, J., 1999. "A Model of Expertise," Papers 206, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
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  11. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  12. Christos Pitelis & Roger Sugden & James R. Wilson, 2006. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Clusters and Globalisation, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
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  14. Dewatripont, Mathias & Tirole, Jean, 2004. "Modes of Communication," IDEI Working Papers 323, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  15. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-83, December.
  16. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  17. Klaas J. Beniers, 2004. "On the Composition of Committees," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 353-378, October.
  18. Farrell, J. & Gibbons, R., 1989. "Cheap Talk With Two Audiences," Working papers 518, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. Fishman, Michael J & Hagerty, Kathleen M, 1990. "The Optimal Amount of Discretion to Allow in Disclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 427-44, May.
  20. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
  21. Jacob Glazer & Ariel Rubinstein, 2004. "On Optimal Rules of Persuasion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1715-1736, November.
  22. Hao Li, 2001. "A Theory of Conservatism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 617-636, June.
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  25. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
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