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Committees and special interests

  • Felgenhauer, Mike
  • Grüner, Hans Peter

Some committees convene behind closed doors while others publicly discuss issues and make their decisions. This paper studies the role of open and closed committee decision making in presence of external influence. We show that restricting the information of interest groups may reduce the bias towards special interest politics. Moreover, there are cases where benefits from increasing the number of decision makers can only be reaped if the committee's sessions are not public. In open committees benefits from voting insincerely accrue not only when a decision maker's vote is pivotal. As the number of voters increases, the cost of voting insincerely declines in an open committee because the probability of being pivotal declines. This is not the case in a closed committee where costs and benefits of insincere voting only arise when a voter is pivotal. JEL Classification: D71, D72, D73

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0293.

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Date of creation: Nov 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20030293
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  1. 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.
  2. Timothy J. Fedderson & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Abstention in Elections with Asymmetric Information and Diverse Preferences," Discussion Papers 1195, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Dino Gerardi & Leeat Yariv, 2003. "Putting Your Ballot Where Your Mouth Is: An Analysis of Collective Choice with Communication," UCLA Economics Working Papers 827, UCLA Department of Economics.
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