Over-Caution of Large Committees of Experts
In this paper, we demonstrate that payoffs linked to a committee member's individual vote may explain over-cautious behavior in committees. A committee of experts must decide whether to approve or reject a proposed innovation on behalf of society. In addition to a payoff linked to the adequateness of the committee's decision, each expert receives a disesteem payoff if he/she voted in favor of an ill-fated innovation. An example is FDA committees, where committee members can be exposed to a disesteem (negative) payoff if they vote to pass a drug that proves to be fatal for some users. We show that no matter how small the disesteem payoffs are, information aggregation fails in large committees: under any majority rule, the committee rejects the innovation almost surely. We then show that this inefficiency can be mitigated by pre-vote information pooling, but only if the decision is take under unanimity: in the presence of disesteem payoffs, committee members will only vote efficiently if they are all responsible for the final decision.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Feldman Building - Givat Ram - 91904 Jerusalem|
Web page: http://www.ratio.huji.ac.il/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Brennan, Geoffrey & Pettit, Philip, 2004. "The Economy of Esteem: An Essay on Civil and Political Society," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199246489, December.
- Kiel, Alexandra & Gerling, Kerstin & Schulte, Elisabeth & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2003.
"Information acquisition and decision making in committees: a survey,"
Working Paper Series
0256, European Central Bank.
- Gerling, Kerstin & Gruner, Hans Peter & Kiel, Alexandra & Schulte, Elisabeth, 2005. "Information acquisition and decision making in committees: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 563-597, September.
- Bezalel Peleg & Shmuel Zamir, 2012. "Extending the Condorcet Jury Theorem to a general dependent jury," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(1), pages 91-125, June.
- Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2006.
"Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
5768, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2008. "Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 990-1008, June.
- Gilat Levy, 2005.
"Decision making in committees: transparency, reputation and voting rules,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
543, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Gilat Levy, 2007. "Decision Making in Committees: Transparency, Reputation, and Voting Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 150-168, March.
- Gilat Levy, 2007. "Decision making in committees: transparency, reputation, and voting rules," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3697, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- John Morgan & Felix Várdy, 2012. "Mixed Motives and the Optimal Size of Voting Bodies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(5), pages 986 - 1026.
- Callander, Steven, 2008. "Majority rule when voters like to win," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 393-420, November.
- Li Hao & Wing Suen, 2009. "Viewpoint: Decision-making in committees," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 359-392, May.
- Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter, 2001. "Information aggregation in debate: who should speak first?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 393-421, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp654. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tomer Siedner)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.