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Information acquisition in committees

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  • Gerardi, Dino
  • Yariv, Leeat

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to illustrate the significance of information acquisition in mechanism design. We provide a stark example of a mechanism design problem in a collective choice environment with information acquisition. We concentrate on committees that are comprised of agents sharing a common goal and having a joint task. Members of the committee decide whether to acquire costly information or not at the outset and are then asked to report their private information. The designer can choose the size of the committee, as well as the procedure by which it selects the collective choice, i.e., the correspondence between agents' reports and distributions over collective choices. We show that the ex ante optimal device may be ex post inefficient, i.e., lead to suboptimal aggregation of information from a statistical point of view. For particular classes of parameters, we describe the full structure of the optimal mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2008. "Information acquisition in committees," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 436-459, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:62:y:2008:i:2:p:436-459
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gershkov, Alex & Szentes, Balázs, 2009. "Optimal voting schemes with costly information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 36-68, January.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:01:p:34-45_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Emmanuelle Auriol & Robert Gary-Bobo, 2012. "On the optimal number of representatives," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 419-445, December.
    4. Hao Li, 2001. "A Theory of Conservatism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 617-636, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Dino Gerardi & Leeat Yariv, 2003. "Committee Design in the Presence of Communication," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1411, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    7. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-424, June.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:01:p:23-35_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2002. "Information Acquisition and Efficient Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1007-1033, May.
    10. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
    11. Smorodinsky, Rann & Tennenholtz, Moshe, 2006. "Overcoming free riding in multi-party computations--The anonymous case," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 385-406, May.
    12. Al-Najjar, Nabil I. & Smorodinsky, Rann, 2000. "Pivotal Players and the Characterization of Influence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 318-342, June.
    13. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
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    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
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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