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Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group

Author

Listed:
  • Bernard Caillaud
  • Jean Tirole

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)

Suggested Citation

  • Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2007. "Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1877-1900, December.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2007. "Hard evidence and mechanism design," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 75-93, January.
    2. 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.
    3. David Spector, 2000. "Rational Debate and One-Dimensional Conflict," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 181-200.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:84:y:1990:i:01:p:149-163_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-89-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Nikolay Nenovsky & S. Statev, 2006. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00260898, HAL.
    7. Michael J. Fishman & Kathleen M. Hagerty, 1990. "The Optimal Amount of Discretion to Allow in Disclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 427-444.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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