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Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group

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  • Caillaud, Bernard
  • Tirole, Jean

Abstract

The paper explores strategies that the sponsor of a proposal may employ to convince a qualified majority of members in a group to approve the proposal. Adopting a mechanism design approach to communication, it emphasizes the need to distill information selectively to key group members and to engineer persuasion cascades in which members who are brought on board sway the opinion of others. The paper shows that higher congruence among group members benefits the sponsor. The extent of congruence between the group and the sponsor, and the size and the governance of the group, are also shown to condition the sponsor's ability to get his project approved.
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Suggested Citation

  • Caillaud, Bernard & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group," IDEI Working Papers 435, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:5969
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:84:y:1990:i:01:p:149-163_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-89-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nikolay Nenovsky & S. Statev, 2006. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00260898, HAL.
    4. Bull, Jesse & Watson, Joel, 2007. "Hard evidence and mechanism design," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 75-93, January.
    5. Klaas J. Beniers, 2004. "On the Composition of Committees," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 353-378, October.
    6. David Spector, 2000. "Rational Debate and One-Dimensional Conflict," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 181-200.
    7. 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.
    8. Michael J. Fishman & Kathleen M. Hagerty, 1990. "The Optimal Amount of Discretion to Allow in Disclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 427-444.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • 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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