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On the Optimal Composition of Committees

  • Ruth Ben-Yashar
  • Leif Danziger

This paper derives a simple characterization of how to optimally divide an organization’s experts into different decision-making committees. The focus is on many three-member committees that make decisions by a simple majority rule. We find that the allocation of experts to committees is optimal if and only if it minimizes the sum of the products of the experts’ skills in each committee. As a result, given the experts of any two committees, the product of the experts’ skills should be as similar as possible in the two committees, and it is never optimal to have the three worst experts in one committee and the three best experts in another.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4685.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4685
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  1. Ruth Ben-Yashar & Igal Milchtaich, 2007. "First and second best voting rules in committees," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 453-486, October.
  2. Bozbay Irem & Dietrich Franz & Peters Hans, 2011. "Judgment aggregation in search for the truth," Research Memorandum 040, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  3. Ben-Yashar, Ruth & Danziger, Leif, 2011. "Symmetric and asymmetric committees," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 440-447.
  4. de Clippel, Geoffroy & Eliaz, Kfir, 2012. "Premise-Based versus Outcome-Based Information Aggregation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8733, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. David S. Ahn & Santiago Oliveros, 2013. "The Condorcet Jur(ies) Theorem," Economics Discussion Papers 743, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  6. Dietrich Franz & List Christian, 2007. "Judgment aggregation without full rationality," Research Memorandum 023, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  7. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 625018000000000232, www.najecon.org.
  8. Peyton Young, 1995. "Optimal Voting Rules," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 51-64, Winter.
  9. Daniel Berend & Luba Sapir, 2007. "Monotonicity in Condorcet’s Jury Theorem with dependent voters," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 507-528, April.
  10. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
  11. Ben-Yashar, Ruth C & Nitzan, Shmuel I, 1997. "The Optimal Decision Rule for Fixed-Size Committees in Dichotomous Choice Situations: The General Result," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 175-86, February.
  12. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, 2013. "Propositionwise judgment aggregation: the general case," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 1067-1095, April.
  13. Bezalel Peleg & Shmuel Zamir, 2012. "Extending the Condorcet Jury Theorem to a general dependent jury," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 91-125, June.
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