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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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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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