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When policy advisors cannot reach a consensus

Author

Listed:
  • Otto H. Swank

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tinbergen Institute, OCFFB, PO Box 1738, NL-3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Wilko Letterie

    () (Maastricht University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, MW-ORG, P.O. Box 616, NL-6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands)

  • Hendrik P. van Dalen

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Tinbergen Institute, OCFFB, PO Box 1738, NL-3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Abstract

In this paper advisors are selected by two ministers with conflicting interests in order to (1) acquire information, and (2) obtain political legitimacy concerning a project. In the end, parliament decides whether or not the project, of which the consequences are uncertain, is implemented. In principle a minister wants to appoint an advisor whose preferences are similar. However, since the advisor needs to convince the decisive player in the model, the minister may appoint an advisor whose preferences are closer to those of the agents to be persuaded. We also show when polarised advice occurs (the advisors have different preferences) and when consensual advice occurs (they have the same preferences).

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:17:y:2000:i:3:p:439-461
    Note: Received: 29 June 1998/Accepted: 26 May 1999
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