IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/cje/issued/v42y2009i2p359-392.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Viewpoint: Decision-making in committees

Author

Listed:
  • Li Hao
  • Wing Suen

Abstract

This article reviews recent developments in the theory of committee decision-making. A committee consists of self-interested members who make a public decision by aggregating imperfect information dispersed among them according to a pre-specified decision rule. We focus on costly information acquisition, strategic information aggregation, and rules and processes that enhance the quality of the committee decision. Seeming inefficiencies of the committee decision-making process such as over-cautiousness, voting, and delay emerge as partial remedies to these incentive problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Li Hao & Wing Suen, 2009. "Viewpoint: Decision-making in committees," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 359-392, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:42:y:2009:i:2:p:359-392
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5982.2009.01512.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5982.2009.01512.x
    Download Restriction: access restricted to subscribers

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/j.1540-5982.2009.01512.x?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Baron, David P. & Ferejohn, John A., 1989. "Bargaining in Legislatures," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(4), pages 1181-1206, December.
    2. Ricardo Alonso & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "Optimal Delegation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 259-293.
    3. 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.
    4. Chwe, Michael Suk-Young, 1999. "Minority Voting Rights Can Maximize Majority Welfare," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 93(1), pages 85-97, March.
    5. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    6. Bauke Visser & Otto H. Swank, 2007. "On Committees of Experts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 337-372.
    7. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
    8. Godfrey Keller & Sven Rady & Martin Cripps, 2005. "Strategic Experimentation with Exponential Bandits," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 39-68, January.
    9. Klevorick, Alvin K. & Rothschild, Michael & Winship, Christopher, 1984. "Information processing and jury decisionmaking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 245-278, April.
    10. Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "The Architecture of Economic Systems: Hierarchies and Polyarchies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 716-727, September.
    11. Letterie, Wilko & Swank, Otto H, 1997. "Learning and Signalling by Advisor Selection," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(3-4), pages 353-367, September.
    12. Bergemann, Dirk & Valimaki, Juuso, 1996. "Learning and Strategic Pricing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1125-1149, September.
    13. Myerson, Roger B, 1979. "Incentive Compatibility and the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 61-73, January.
    14. Feddersen, Timothy & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1998. "Convicting the Innocent: The Inferiority of Unanimous Jury Verdicts under Strategic Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 92(1), pages 23-35, March.
    15. Otto H. Swank & Wilko Letterie & Hendrik P. van Dalen, 2000. "When policy advisors cannot reach a consensus," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 17(3), pages 439-461.
    16. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2001. "A Model of Expertise," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 747-775.
    17. Martinelli, Cesar, 2006. "Would rational voters acquire costly information?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 225-251, July.
    18. César Martinelli, 2007. "Rational ignorance and voting behavior," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 35(3), pages 315-335, February.
    19. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    20. , & ,, 2009. "A resurrection of the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 4(2), June.
    21. Shin Hyun Song, 1994. "The Burden of Proof in a Game of Persuasion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 253-264, October.
    22. repec:ner:ucllon:http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/17678/ is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2008. "Information acquisition in committees," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 436-459, March.
    24. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 18-32, Spring.
    25. Austen-Smith, David & Feddersen, Timothy J., 2006. "Deliberation, Preference Uncertainty, and Voting Rules," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 209-217, May.
    26. Farrell Joseph, 1993. "Meaning and Credibility in Cheap-Talk Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 514-531, October.
    27. Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1988. "Committees, Hierarchies and Polyarchies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 451-470, June.
    28. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
    29. Dezsö Szalay, 2005. "The Economics of Clear Advice and Extreme Options," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 1173-1198.
    30. Hao Li & Sherwin Rosen & Wing Suen, 2001. "Conflicts and Common Interests in Committees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1478-1497, December.
    31. 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.
    32. Robert J. Aumann & Sergiu Hart, 2003. "Long Cheap Talk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1619-1660, November.
      • Robert J. Aumann & Sergiu Hart, 2002. "Long Cheap Talk," Discussion Paper Series dp284, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, revised Nov 2002.
    33. Jeffrey S. Rosenthal & Martin J. Osborne & Matthew A. Turner, 2000. "Meetings with Costly Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 927-943, September.
    34. Peter C. Cramton, 1992. "Strategic Delay in Bargaining with Two-Sided Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 205-225.
    35. Austen-Smith, David & Banks, Jeffrey S., 1996. "Information Aggregation, Rationality, and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 90(1), pages 34-45, March.
    36. Wouter Dessein, 2002. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 811-838.
    37. Hao Li, 2001. "A Theory of Conservatism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 617-636, June.
    38. Kennan, John & Wilson, Robert, 1993. "Bargaining with Private Information," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 45-104, March.
    39. Farmer, Amy & Terrell, Dek, 2001. "Crime versus Justice: Is There a Trade-Off?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 345-366, October.
    40. Gilligan, Thomas W & Krehbiel, Keith, 1987. "Collective Decisionmaking and Standing Committees: An Informational Rationale for Restrictive Amendment Procedures," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 287-335, Fall.
    41. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    42. Davis, Michael L, 1994. "The Value of Truth and the Optimal Standard of Proof in Legal Disputes," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 343-359, October.
    43. Anthony M. Marino, 2007. "Delegation versus Veto in Organizational Games of Strategic Communication," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(6), pages 979-992, December.
    44. Hao Li & Wing Suen, 2004. "Delegating Decisions to Experts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages 311-335, February.
    45. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 2004. "The art of conversation: eliciting information from experts through multi-stage communication," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 147-179, August.
    46. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Hao Li & Sherwin Rosen & Wing Suen, 2001. "Conflicts and Common Interests in Committees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1478-1497, December.
    2. Irene Valsecchi, 2013. "The expert problem: a survey," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 303-331, November.
    3. Hongbin Cai, 2009. "Costly participation and heterogeneous preferences in informational committees," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 173-189, March.
    4. Chan, Jimmy & Gupta, Seher & Li, Fei & Wang, Yun, 2019. "Pivotal persuasion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 178-202.
      • Jimmy Chan & Seher Gupta & Fei Li & Yun Wang, 2018. "Pivotal Persuasion," Working Papers 2018-11-03, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University.
    5. Jun Chen, 2021. "The Condorcet Jury Theorem with Information Acquisition," Games, MDPI, vol. 12(4), pages 1-33, October.
    6. Dezsö Szalay & Ramon Arean, 2005. "Communicating with a Team of Experts," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 05.12, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
    7. Guha, Brishti, 2022. "Ambiguity aversion, group size, and deliberation: Costly information and decision accuracy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 201(C), pages 115-133.
    8. Ding, Huihui & Pivato, Marcus, 2021. "Deliberation and epistemic democracy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 138-167.
    9. Gershkov, Alex & Szentes, Balázs, 2009. "Optimal voting schemes with costly information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 36-68, January.
    10. Kawamura, Kohei, 2013. "Eliciting information from a large population," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 44-54.
    11. Junichiro Ishida, 2015. "Hierarchies Versus Committees: Communication and Information Acquisition in Organizations," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 62-88, March.
    12. Keiichi Morimoto, 2021. "Information Use and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 9(10), pages 1-22, May.
    13. Alexander Lundberg, 2020. "The importance of expertise in group decisions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 55(3), pages 495-521, October.
    14. Volker Hahn, 2012. "On the Optimal Size of Committees of Experts," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-24, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    15. Jackson, Matthew O. & Tan, Xu, 2013. "Deliberation, disclosure of information, and voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(1), pages 2-30.
    16. Laurent Bouton & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Frédéric Malherbe, 2014. "Get Rid of Unanimity: The Superiority of Majority Rule with Veto Power," NBER Working Papers 20417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Goltsman, Maria & Pavlov, Gregory, 2011. "How to talk to multiple audiences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 100-122, May.
    18. repec:pit:wpaper:325 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Gersbach, Hans & Mamageishvili, Akaki & Tejada, Oriol, 2020. "Appointed Learning for the Common Good: Optimal Committee Size and Efficient Rewards," CEPR Discussion Papers 15311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Philip Bond & Hülya Eraslan, 2004. "Strategic Voting over Strategic Proposals, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-014, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 02 Jan 2007.
    21. Philip Bond & Hülya Eraslan, 2010. "Strategic Voting over Strategic Proposals," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 459-490.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:42:y:2009:i:2:p:359-392. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ceaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Prof. Werner Antweiler (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ceaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.