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Let the experts decide? Asymmetric information, abstention, and coordination in standing committees

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  • Morton, Rebecca B.
  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

Abstract

We examine abstention when voters in standing committees are asymmetrically informed and there are multiple pure-strategy equilibria - swing voter's curse (SVC) equilibria where voters with low-quality information abstain and equilibria when all participants vote their information. When the asymmetry in information quality is large, we find that voting groups largely coordinate on the SVC equilibrium which is also Pareto optimal. However, we find that when the asymmetry in information quality is not large and the Pareto optimal equilibrium is for all to participate, significant numbers of voters with low-quality information abstain. Furthermore, we find that information asymmetry induces voters with low-quality information to coordinate on a non-equilibrium outcome. This suggests that coordination on "letting the experts" decide is a likely voting norm that sometimes validates SVC equilibrium predictions but other times does not.

Suggested Citation

  • Morton, Rebecca B. & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2011. "Let the experts decide? Asymmetric information, abstention, and coordination in standing committees," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 485-509, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:72:y:2011:i:2:p:485-509
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    6. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reuben, Ernesto & Traxler, Christian & van Winden, Frans, 2015. "Advocacy and political convergence under preference uncertainty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 16-36.
    2. David Stadelmann & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Bounded Rationality and Voting Decisions Exploring a 160-Year Period," Working Papers 2012.70, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Berno Buechel & Lydia Mechtenberg, 2017. "The Swing Voter's Curse in Social Networks," Working Papers 2017.05, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. Luís Francisco Aguiar-Conraria & Pedro C. Magalhães & Christoph A. Vanberg, 2013. "Experimental evidence that quorum rules discourage turnout and promote election boycotts," NIPE Working Papers 14/2013, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    5. Bhattacharya, Sourav & Duffy, John & Kim, Sun-Tak, 2014. "Compulsory versus voluntary voting: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 111-131.
    6. Bouton, Laurent & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Malherbe, Frédéric, 2017. "Unanimous rules in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 179-198.
    7. Paolo Balduzzi & Clara Graziano & Annalisa Luporini, 2011. "Voting in Small Committees," Working Papers - Economics wp2011_01.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    8. Lydia Mechtenberg & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2016. "Voter Motivation and the Quality of Democratic Choice," Discussion Papers 16-13, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    9. Paolo Balduzzi & Clara Graziano & Annalisa Luporini, 2014. "Voting in small committees," Journal of Economics, Springer, pages 69-95.
    10. repec:pit:wpaper:492 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Kohei Kawamura & Vasileios Vlaseros, 2015. "Expert Information and Majority Decisions," ESE Discussion Papers 261, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    12. Kawamura, Kohei & Vlaseros, Vasileios, 2017. "Expert information and majority decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 77-88.
    13. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:190-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Herrera, Helios & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & McMurray, Joseph C., 2016. "The Marginal Voter's Curse," CEPR Discussion Papers 11463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Paolo Balduzzi & Clara Graziano & Annalisa Luporini, 2014. "Voting in small committees," Journal of Economics, Springer, pages 69-95.
    16. Großer, Jens & Seebauer, Michael, 2016. "The curse of uninformed voting: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 205-226.
    17. repec:eee:pubeco:v:154:y:2017:i:c:p:34-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Jacobi, Tonja & Kontorovich, Eugene, 2015. "Why judges always vote," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, pages 190-199.
    19. Luís Aguiar-Conraria & Pedro C. Magalhães & Christoph A. Vanberg, 2016. "Experimental evidence that quorum rules discourage turnout and promote election boycotts," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, pages 886-909.

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