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We consider the problem of sequential search when the decision to stop searching is made by a committee. We show that a symmetric stationary equilibrium exists and is unique given that the distribution of rewards is log concave. Committee members set a lower acceptance threshold than do single-agent searchers. In addition, mean preserving spreads in the distribution of rewards may lower each member's continuation value | an impossibility in the single-agent setting. If committee members are very patient or very impatient, expected search duration is lower than it would be for a single agent, but, for intermediate levels of patience, this comparison may be reversed. Holding the fraction of votes required to stop fixed, expected search duration rises with committee size on patient committees but falls with committee size on impatient committees. Finally, we consider the effect of varying the number of votes required to stop, holding committee size constant. We show that the welfare-maximizing vote threshold increases in the rate of patience and that there is a finite bound on patience such that unanimity is welfare maximizing.

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Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~07-07-09.

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Date of creation: 09 Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~07-07-09
Contact details of provider: Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Phone: 202-687-6074
Fax: 202-687-6102
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Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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  1. J. J. McCall, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-126.
  2. Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1976. "The Economics of Job Search: A Survey: Part I," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(2), pages 155-89, June.
  3. Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, 2005. "Log-concave probability and its applications," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 445-469, 08.
  4. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 625018000000000232,
  5. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Convicting the Innocent: The Inferiority of Unanimous Jury Verdicts," Discussion Papers 1170, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Burdett, Kenneth, 1996. "Truncated means and variances," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 263-267, September.
  7. Alexander Shapiro & Jos Berge, 2002. "Statistical inference of minimum rank factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 67(1), pages 79-94, March.
  8. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  9. Vroman, S B, 1985. "No-Help-Wanted Signs and the Duration of Job Search," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 767-73, September.
  10. Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1976. "The Economics of Job Search: A Survey," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(3), pages 347-68, September.
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