Committee Design with Endogenous Participation
We investigate the optimal design of a committee in a model with the endogenous participation of experts who have private information about their own abilities. We study three different dimensions of committee design: members' wages, the number of seats, and the communication system. We show that, surprisingly, higher wages lead to lower quality experts. By contrast, transparency improves the quality of experts on the committee. We provide a complete characterization of optimal committees. They are characterized by low wages and can be transparent or opaque. An increase in the significance of the decision requires a larger optimal committee, but does not call for different wages or for another communication system. Finally, we prove that the optimal committee design represents the best possible mechanism for the principal.
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