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On the Optimal Composition of Committees

Author

Listed:
  • Ben-Yashar, Ruth

    () (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Danziger, Leif

    () (Ben Gurion University)

Abstract

This paper derives a simple characterization of how to optimally divide an organization's experts into different decision-making committees. The focus is on many three-member committees that make decisions by a simple majority rule. We find that the allocation of experts to committees is optimal if and only if it minimizes the sum of the products of the experts' skills in each committee. As a result, given the experts of any two committees, the product of the experts' skills should be as similar as possible in the two committees, and it is never optimal to have the three worst experts in one committee and the three best experts in another.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben-Yashar, Ruth & Danziger, Leif, 2014. "On the Optimal Composition of Committees," IZA Discussion Papers 7963, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7963
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ben-Yashar, Ruth C & Nitzan, Shmuel I, 1997. "The Optimal Decision Rule for Fixed-Size Committees in Dichotomous Choice Situations: The General Result," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 175-186, February.
    2. Bozbay, İrem & Dietrich, Franz & Peters, Hans, 2014. "Judgment aggregation in search for the truth," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 571-590.
    3. de Clippel, Geoffroy & Eliaz, Kfir, 2015. "Premise-based versus outcome-based information aggregation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 34-42.
    4. Ben-Yashar, Ruth & Danziger, Leif, 2011. "Symmetric and asymmetric committees," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 440-447.
    5. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
    6. Ahn, David S. & Oliveros, Santiago, 2014. "The Condorcet Jur(ies) Theorem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 841-851.
    7. repec:esx:essedp:743 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, 2008. "Judgment aggregation without full rationality," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 31(1), pages 15-39, June.
    9. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, 2013. "Propositionwise judgment aggregation: the general case," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(4), pages 1067-1095, April.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:100:y:2006:i:02:p:209-217_06 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:01:p:34-45_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Ruth Ben-Yashar & Igal Milchtaich, 2007. "First and second best voting rules in committees," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 29(3), pages 453-486, October.
    13. Daniel Berend & Luba Sapir, 2007. "Monotonicity in Condorcet’s Jury Theorem with dependent voters," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(3), pages 507-528, April.
    14. Peyton Young, 1995. "Optimal Voting Rules," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 51-64, Winter.
    15. 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.
    16. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ben-Yashar, Ruth & Danziger, Leif, 2016. "The unanimity rule and extremely asymmetric committees," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 107-112.
    2. Ruth Ben-Yashar & Leif Danziger, 2015. "When is voting optimal?," Economic Theory Bulletin, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(2), pages 341-356, October.
    3. Takuya Sekiguchi, 2016. "Optimal group composition for efficient division of labor," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(4), pages 601-618, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    optimal composition of committees; simple majority rule;

    JEL classification:

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

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