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Voting in Small Committees

  • Paolo Balduzzi
  • Clara Graziano
  • Annalisa Luporini

A small committee has to approve/reject a project with uncertain return. Members have different preferences: some are value-maximizers, others are biased towards approval. We focus on the efficient use of scarce information when communication is not guaranteed, and we provide insights on the optimal committee composition. We show that the presence of biased members can improve the voting outcome by simplifying the strategies of unbiased members. Thus, heterogeneous committees perform at least as well as homogeneous committees. In particular, when value-maximizers outnumber biased members by one vote, the optimal equilibrium becomes unique. Finally, allowing members to communicate brings no improvement.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3732.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3732
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  1. Jung, Alexander, 2011. "An international comparison of voting by committees," Working Paper Series 1383, European Central Bank.
  2. Alessandro Riboni & Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2008. "Preference Heterogeneity in Monetary Policy Committees," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(1), pages 213-233, March.
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  4. Kiel, Alexandra & Gerling, Kerstin & Schulte, Elisabeth & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2003. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: a survey," Working Paper Series 0256, European Central Bank.
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  9. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1994. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Discussion Papers 1117, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Eckel, Catherine & Holt, Charles A, 1989. "Strategic Voting in Agenda-Controlled Committee Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 763-73, September.
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  12. Harris, Mark & Spencer, Christopher, 2008. "Decade of dissent: explaining the dissent voting behavior of Bank of England MPC members," MPRA Paper 9100, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Piketty, Thomas, 1999. "The information-aggregation approach to political institutions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 791-800, April.
  14. Paolo Balduzzi & Clara Graziano & Annalisa Luporini, 2011. "Voting in Corporate Boards with Heterogeneous Preferences," Working Papers - Economics wp2011_02.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  15. Hongbin Cai, 2009. "Costly participation and heterogeneous preferences in informational committees," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(1), pages 173-189.
  16. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
  17. Jan Marc Berk & Beata K. Bierut, 2005. "On the Optimality of Decisions made by Hub-and-Spokes Monetary Policy Committees," DNB Working Papers 027, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  18. Raheja, Charu G., 2005. "Determinants of Board Size and Composition: A Theory of Corporate Boards," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(02), pages 283-306, June.
  19. Christopher Spencer, 2006. "The Dissent Voting Behaviour of Bank of England MPC Members," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0306, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  20. Renée B. Adams & Daniel Ferreira, 2007. "A Theory of Friendly Boards," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 217-250, 02.
  21. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
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