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Let the Experts Decide? Asymmetric Information, Abstention, and Coordination in Standing Committees

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  • Rebecca Morton

    (New York University)

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We examine abstention when voters in standing committees are asymmetrically informed and there are multiple pure strategy equilibria-swing voter's curse (SVC) equilibria where voters with low quality information abstain and equilibria when all participants vote their information. When the asymmetry in information quality is large, we find that voting groups largely coordinate on the SVC equilibrium which is also Pareto Optimal. However, we find that when the asymmetry in information quality is not large and the Pareto Optimal equilibrium is for all to participate, significant numbers of voters with low quality information abstain. Furthermore, we find that information asymmetry induces voters with low quality information to coordinate on a non-equilibrium outcome. This suggests that coordination on "letting the experts" decide is a likely voting norm that sometimes validates SVC equilibrium predictions but other times does not.

Suggested Citation

  • Rebecca Morton & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2008. "Let the Experts Decide? Asymmetric Information, Abstention, and Coordination in Standing Committees," Discussion Papers 08-25, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0825
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    Cited by:

    1. Reuben, Ernesto & Traxler, Christian & van Winden, Frans, 2015. "Advocacy and political convergence under preference uncertainty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 16-36.
    2. David Stadelmann & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Bounded Rationality and Voting Decisions Exploring a 160-Year Period," Working Papers 2012.70, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Amrita Dillon & REBECCA B. MORTON & JEAN-ROBERT TYRAN, 2015. "Corruption in Committees: An Experimental Study of Information Aggregation through Voting," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(4), pages 553-579, August.
    4. Luís Aguiar-Conraria & Pedro C. Magalhães & Christoph A. Vanberg, 2016. "Experimental evidence that quorum rules discourage turnout and promote election boycotts," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(4), pages 886-909, December.
    5. Bhattacharya, Sourav & Duffy, John & Kim, Sun-Tak, 2014. "Compulsory versus voluntary voting: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 111-131.
    6. Bouton, Laurent & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Malherbe, Frédéric, 2017. "Unanimous rules in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 179-198.
    7. Javier Rivas Ruiz & F Mengel, 2015. "Common value elections with private information and informative priors: theory and experiments," Department of Economics Working Papers 44/15, University of Bath, Department of Economics.
    8. Paolo Balduzzi & Clara Graziano & Annalisa Luporini, 2014. "Voting in small committees," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 69-95, February.
    9. Berno Buechel & Lydia Mechtenberg, 2017. "The Swing Voter's Curse in Social Networks," Working Papers 2017.05, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    10. Lydia Mechtenberg & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2016. "Voter Motivation and the Quality of Democratic Choice," Discussion Papers 16-13, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    11. repec:pit:wpaper:492 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Kohei Kawamura & Vasileios Vlaseros, 2015. "Expert Information and Majority Decisions," ESE Discussion Papers 261, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    13. Kawamura, Kohei & Vlaseros, Vasileios, 2017. "Expert information and majority decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 77-88.
    14. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:190-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Dino Gerardi & Margaret A. McConnell & Julian Romero & Leeat Yariv, 2016. "Get Out The (Costly) Vote: Institutional Design For Greater Participation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(4), pages 1963-1979, October.
    16. Herrera, Helios & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & McMurray, Joseph C., 2016. "The Marginal Voter's Curse," CEPR Discussion Papers 11463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Großer, Jens & Seebauer, Michael, 2016. "The curse of uninformed voting: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 205-226.
    18. Helios Herrera & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Joseph C. McMurray, 2016. "The Marginal Voter's Curse," Working Papers 798, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    19. repec:eee:pubeco:v:154:y:2017:i:c:p:34-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Jacobi, Tonja & Kontorovich, Eugene, 2015. "Why judges always vote," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 190-199.

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