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An Experimental Test of a Committee Search Model


  • Hizen, Yoichi

    (Hokkaido University)

  • Kawata, Keisuke

    () (University of Tokyo)

  • Sasaki, Masaru

    () (Osaka University)


The objective of this paper is to design a laboratory experiment for an infinite-horizon sequential committee search model in order to test some of the implications obtained by the model in Albrecht, Anderson, and Vroman (2010) (AAV). We find that, compared with single-agent search, the search duration is longer for committee search under the unanimity rule, but is shorter for committee search in which at least one vote is required to stop searching. In addition, according to estimates from round-based search decisions, subjects are more likely to vote to stop searching in committee search than in single-agent search. This confirms that agents are less picky in committee search. Overall, the experimental outcomes are consistent with the implications suggested by the AAV model. However, despite the prediction from the AAV model, we could not obtain a significant outcome in relation to the size order of the probabilities of voting to stop searching in committee search for the various plurality voting rules.

Suggested Citation

  • Hizen, Yoichi & Kawata, Keisuke & Sasaki, Masaru, 2012. "An Experimental Test of a Committee Search Model," IZA Discussion Papers 6861, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6861

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schunk, Daniel, 2009. "Behavioral heterogeneity in dynamic search situations: Theory and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1719-1738, September.
    2. Schunk, Daniel & Winter, Joachim, 2009. "The relationship between risk attitudes and heuristics in search tasks: A laboratory experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 347-360, August.
    3. Boone, Jan & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & van Ours, Jan C., 2009. "Experiments on unemployment benefit sanctions and job search behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 937-951, November.
    4. Albrecht, James & Anderson, Axel & Vroman, Susan, 2010. "Search by committee," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(4), pages 1386-1407, July.
    5. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    6. Cramer, J. S. & Hartog, J. & Jonker, N. & Van Praag, C. M., 2002. "Low risk aversion encourages the choice for entrepreneurship: an empirical test of a truism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 29-36, May.
    7. Cox, James C & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1989. "Laboratory Experiments with a Finite-Horizon Job-Search Model," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 301-329, September.
    8. Harrison, Glenn W & Morgan, Peter, 1990. "Search Intensity in Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 478-486, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Inukai, Keigo & Kawata, Keisuke & Sasaki, Masaru, 2017. "Committee Search with Ex-ante Heterogeneous Agents: Theory and Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 10760, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Mak, Vincent & Rapoport, Amnon & Seale, Darryl A., 2014. "Sequential search by groups with rank-dependent payoffs: An experimental study," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 256-267.

    More about this item


    plurality voting rules; committee search; experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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