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Committee decisions: Optimality and Equilibrium

  • Jean-François Laslier

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS)

  • Jörgen Weibull

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS, SSE - Department of Economics - Stockholm School of Economics)

We consider a group or committee that faces a binary decision under uncertainty. Each member holds some private information. Members agree which decision should be taken in each state of nature, had this been known, but they may attach different values to the two types of mistake that may occur. Most voting rules have a plethora of uninformative equilibria, and informative voting may be incompatible with equilibrium. We analyze an anonymous randomized majority rule that has a unique equilibrium. This equilibrium is strict, votes are informative, and the equilibrium implements the optimal decision with probability one in the limit as the committee size goes to infinity. We show that this also holds for the usual majority rule under certain perturbations of the behavioral assumptions: (i) a slight preference for voting according to one's conviction, and (ii) transparency and a slight preference for esteem. We also show that a slight probability for voting mistakes strengthens the incentive for informative voting.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00121741.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00121741
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  1. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2008. "Should the individual voting records of central bankers be published?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 655-683, May.
  2. Dixit, Avinash & Weibull, Jörgen, 2006. "Political Polarization," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 655, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 12 Apr 2007.
  3. Hahn, Volker, 2008. "Committees, sequential voting and transparency," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 366-385, November.
  4. Myerson, Roger B., 1998. "Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 111-131, October.
  5. Andrew McLennan, 2008. "Manipulation in Elections with Uncertain Preferences," Discussion Papers Series 360, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  6. Job Swank & Otto H. Swank & Bauke Visser, 2008. "How Committees of Experts Interact with the Outside World: Some Theory, and Evidence from the FOMC," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 478-486, 04-05.
  7. Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "The Swing Voter's Curse," Discussion Papers 1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Kfir Eliaz, 2002. "Fault Tolerant Implementation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 589-610.
  9. Al-Najjar, Nabil I. & Smorodinsky, Rann, 2000. "Pivotal Players and the Characterization of Influence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 318-342, June.
  10. Wit, Jorgen, 1998. "Rational Choice and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 364-376, February.
  11. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
  12. repec:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:1:p:337-372 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
  14. Ruth Ben-Yashar & Igal Milchtaich, 2007. "First and second best voting rules in committees," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 453-486, October.
  15. Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1988. "Committees, Hierarchies and Polyarchies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 451-70, June.
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