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Information Acquisition and Transparency in Committees

  • Gersbach, Hans
  • Hahn, Volker

We study a two-period model of committee decision-making where members differ in their levels of efficiency. They may acquire costly information that enhances their ability to make a correct decision. We focus on the impact of transparency. We show that the principal's initial utility is higher under transparency, because members exert more effort, which makes correct decisions more likely. The principal also benefits from transparency later, unless transparency leads to an alignment of the signal qualities of highly efficient and less efficient committee members. In general, committee members are harmed by transparency.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6677.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6677
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  1. Gilat Levy, 2007. "Decision making in committees: transparency, reputation, and voting rules," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3697, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Anne Sibert, 1999. "Monetary Policy Committees: Individual and Collective Reputations," CESifo Working Paper Series 226, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Andrea Prat, 2002. "The wrong kind of transparency," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3679, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
  5. Hahn, Volker & Gersbach, Hans, 2001. "Should the Individual Voting Records of Central Bankers be Published?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2001,02, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  6. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2008. "Information acquisition in committees," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 436-459, March.
  7. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
  8. Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  9. John Fingleton, 2005. "Career Concerns of Bargainers," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 179-204, April.
  10. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2004. "Voting Transparency, Conflicting Interests, And The Appointment Of Central Bankers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16, pages 321-345, November.
  11. Bauke Visser & Otto H Swank, 2007. "On Committees of Experts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 337-372, 02.
  12. 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.
  13. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
  14. Hahn, Volker, 2008. "Committees, sequential voting and transparency," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 366-385, November.
  15. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, June.
  16. Kaushik Mukhopadhaya, 2003. "Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 24-44, April.
  17. Anne Sibert, 2003. "Monetary Policy Committees: Individual and Collective Reputations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 649-665.
  18. Trueman, Brett, 1994. "Analyst Forecasts and Herding Behavior," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 97-124.
  19. Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter, 2001. "Information aggregation in debate: who should speak first?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 393-421, September.
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