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Deliberating Collective Decisions

Author

Listed:
  • Chan, Jimmy
  • Lizzeri, Alessandro
  • Suen, Wing
  • Yariv, Leeat

Abstract

We present a dynamic model of sequential information acquisition by a heterogeneous committee. At each date agents decide whether to vote to adopt one of two alternatives or continue to collect more information. The process stops when a qualified majority vote for an alternative. Three main insights emerge from our analysis and match an array of stylized facts on committee decision making. First, majority rule is more fragile than super-majority rules to impatient committee members. Second, more diverse preferences, more consensual deliberation rules, or more unanimous de- cision voting rules lead to lengthier deliberation and more accurate decisions. Last, balanced committees unanimously prefer to delegate deliberation power to a moderate chairman rather than be governed by a deliberation rule such as unanimity.

Suggested Citation

  • Chan, Jimmy & Lizzeri, Alessandro & Suen, Wing & Yariv, Leeat, 2015. "Deliberating Collective Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 10466, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10466
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1988. "Coordination through Committees and Markets," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(2), pages 235-252, Summer.
    2. Feddersen, Timothy & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1998. "Convicting the Innocent: The Inferiority of Unanimous Jury Verdicts under Strategic Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 92(1), pages 23-35, March.
    3. Olivier Compte & Philippe Jehiel, 2010. "Bargaining and Majority Rules: A Collective Search Perspective," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(2), pages 189-221, April.
    4. Joseph Farrell & Timothy Simcoe, 2012. "Choosing the rules for consensus standardization," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(2), pages 235-252, June.
    5. Austen-Smith, David & Feddersen, Timothy J., 2006. "Deliberation, Preference Uncertainty, and Voting Rules," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 209-217, May.
    6. Messner, Matthias & Polborn, Mattias K., 2012. "The option to wait in collective decisions and optimal majority rules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 524-540.
    7. Coughlan, Peter J., 2000. "In Defense of Unanimous Jury Verdicts: Mistrials, Communication, and Strategic Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 375-393, June.
    8. repec:pit:wpaper:499 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Benjamin Chiao & Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2007. "The rules of standard-setting organizations: an empirical analysis," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(4), pages 905-930, December.
    10. Bruno Strulovici, 2010. "Learning While Voting: Determinants of Collective Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 933-971, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Moldovanu, Benny & Rosar, Frank, 2019. "Brexit: Dynamic Voting with an Irreversible Option," CEPR Discussion Papers 14101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Freer, Mikhail & Martinelli, César & Wang, Siyu, 2020. "Collective experimentation: A laboratory study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 365-379.
    3. Xin Zhao, 2018. "Heterogeneity and Unanimity: Optimal Committees with Information Acquisition," Working Paper Series 52, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    collec- tive learning; optimal stopping; sequential likelihood ratio test; swing voters;

    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
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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