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Collective Experimentation: A Laboratory Study

Author

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  • Mikhail Freer

    (Department of Economics, University of Leuven (KU Leuven).)

  • Cesar Martinelli

    (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)

  • Siyu Wang

    (For Motor Company)

Abstract

We develop a simple model of collective experimentation and take it to the lab. In equilibrium, as in the recent work of Strulovici (2010), majority rule has a bias toward under experimentation, as good news for a minority of voters may lead a majority of voters to abandon a policy when each of them thinks it is likely that the policy will be passed by a future majority excluding them. We compare the behavior in the lab of groups under majority rule and under the optimal voting rule, which precludes voting in intermediate stages of the policy experiment. Surprisingly, performs better than the (theoretically) optimal voting rule. Majority rule seems to be more robust than other forms of voting when players make mistakes.

Suggested Citation

  • Mikhail Freer & Cesar Martinelli & Siyu Wang, 2018. "Collective Experimentation: A Laboratory Study," Working Papers 1066, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:gms:wpaper:1066
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vincent Anesi & Mikhail Safronov, 2021. "Cloturing Deliberation," DEM Discussion Paper Series 21-03, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    2. Anesi, Vincent & Bowen, T. Renee, 2018. "Policy Experimentation, Redistribution and Voting Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 12797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Gersbach, Hans & Wickramage, Kamali, 2021. "Balanced voting," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 203-229.
    4. DeAngelo, Gregory & Houser, Daniel & Romaniuc, Rustam, 2020. "Experimental public choice: An introduction to the special issue," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 278-280.
    5. Ginzburg, Boris & Guerra, José-Alberto, 2019. "When collective ignorance is bliss: Theory and experiment on voting for learning," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 52-64.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • 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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