IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On the Optimal Size of Committees of Experts

  • Volker Hahn


    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

What is the optimal size of expert committees? To address this question, I present a model of a committee of experts with career concerns. Each expert may observe an argument about the state of the world but be unsure about the argument's soundness. Experts may remain silent or compete for the opportunity to announce an argument. I show that experts become more reluctant to speak in larger committees. This effect is sufficiently strong to make small groups of experts optimal. At the same time, a small committee may be superior to an individual expert.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Konstanz in its series Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz with number 2012-24.

in new window

Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 19 Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1224
Contact details of provider: Postal: D-78457 Konstanz
Phone: +49-7531-88-3713
Fax: +49-7531-88-3130
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

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.:

as in new window
  1. César Martinelli, 2005. "Rational Ignorance and Voting Behavior," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000461, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1994. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Discussion Papers 1117, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Marco Ottaviani & Peter Norman Sørensen, 2006. "Reputational cheap talk," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 155-175, 03.
  5. 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.
  6. Wit, Jorgen, 1998. "Rational Choice and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 364-376, February.
  7. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Volker Hahn, 2010. "Sequential Aggregation of Verifiable Information," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 10/136, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  9. Hahn, Volker, 2008. "Committees, sequential voting and transparency," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 366-385, November.
  10. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  11. Ruth Ben-Yashar & Shmuel Nitzan, 2001. "The invalidity of the Condorcet Jury Theorem under endogenous decisional skills," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 243-249, November.
  12. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:1:p:155-175 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
  14. Li Hao & Wing Suen, 2009. "Viewpoint: Decision-making in committees," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(2), pages 359-392, May.
  15. Dino Gerardi & Leeat Yariv, 2008. "Costly Expertise," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 187-93, May.
  16. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
  17. Szentes, Balazs & Koriyama, Yukio, 2009. "A resurrection of the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 4(2), June.
  18. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2012. "Information acquisition and transparency in committees," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 427-453, May.
  19. Wilson, Robert, 1977. "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 511-18, October.
  20. Kaushik Mukhopadhaya, 2003. "Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 24-44, April.
  21. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
  22. Bauke Visser & Otto H Swank, 2007. "On Committees of Experts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 337-372, 02.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1224. 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: (Dr. Lisa Green)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.