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Information aggregation and optimal structure of the executive

Listed author(s):
  • Torun Dewan
  • Andrea Galeotti
  • Christian Ghiglino
  • Francesco Squintani
Registered author(s):

    We model two aspects of executives in parliamentary democracies: Decision-making authority is assigned to individuals, and private information is aggregated through communication. When information is relevant to all policies and communication is private, all decisions should be centralized to a single politician. A government that holds cabinet meetings, where information is made available to all decision makers, outperforms one where communication is private: A multimember cabinet can be optimal; it need not be single peaked around the most moderate politician or ideologically connected. Centralization is nonmonotonic in the degree of ideological divergence. In a large cabinet, all power should be given to the most moderate politician. Even when uncertainty is policy specific and a single politician is informed on each policy, power should never be fully decentralized. Our model provides a justification for centralized authority and cabinet meetings that enhance the quality of policy.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/59632/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 59632.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2015
    Publication status: Published in American Journal of Political Science, April, 2015, 59(2), pp. 475-494. ISSN: 0092-5853
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:59632
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    1. Marco Battaglini, 2002. "Multiple Referrals and Multidimensional Cheap Talk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1379-1401, July.
    2. Gershkov, Alex & Szentes, Bal√°zs, 2009. "Optimal voting schemes with costly information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 36-68, January.
    3. Goltsman, Maria & Pavlov, Gregory, 2011. "How to talk to multiple audiences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 100-122, May.
    4. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-89-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Farrell, Joseph & Gibbons, Robert, 1989. "Cheap Talk with Two Audiences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1214-1223, December.
    6. Indridason, Indridi H. & Kam, Christopher, 2008. "Cabinet Reshuffles and Ministerial Drift," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(04), pages 621-656, October.
    7. Gerardi, Dino & McLean, Richard & Postlewaite, Andrew, 2009. "Aggregation of expert opinions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 339-371, March.
    8. John Morgan & Phillip C. Stocken, 2008. "Information Aggregation in Polls," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 864-896, June.
    9. Galeotti, Andrea & Ghiglino, Christian & Squintani, Francesco, 2009. "Strategic Information Transmission in Networks," Economics Discussion Papers 2974, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    10. Gilligan, Thomas W & Krehbiel, Keith, 1987. "Collective Decisionmaking and Standing Committees: An Informational Rationale for Restrictive Amendment Procedures," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 287-335, Fall.
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:84:y:1990:i:03:p:891-906_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
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