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Corruption in Committees: An Experimental Study of Information Aggregation through Voting

Author

Listed:
  • Rebecca Morton

    (Department of Politics, New York University)

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University)

Abstract

We investigate experimentally the effects of corrupt experts on information aggregation in committees. We find that non-experts are significantly less likely to delegate through abstention when there is a probability that experts are corrupt. Such decreased abstention, when the probability of corrupt experts is low, actually increases information efficiency in committee decision-making. However, if the probability of corrupt experts is large, the effect is not sufficient to offset the mechanical effect of decreased information efficiency due to corrupt experts. Our results demonstrate that the norm of “letting the expert decide” in committee voting is influenced by the probability of corrupt experts, and that influence can have, to a limited extent, a positive effect on information efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Rebecca Morton & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2014. "Corruption in Committees: An Experimental Study of Information Aggregation through Voting," Discussion Papers 14-18, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1418
    as

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    File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/dp_2014/1418.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2010. "The Swing Voter's Curse in the Laboratory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 61-89.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:93:y:1999:i:02:p:381-398_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. S. Nageeb Ali & Jacob K. Goeree & Navin Kartik & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2008. "Information Aggregation in Standing and Ad Hoc Committees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 181-186, May.
    4. Giovanna Devetag & Andreas Ortmann, 2007. "When and why? A critical survey on coordination failure in the laboratory," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(3), pages 331-344, September.
    5. Morton, Rebecca B. & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2011. "Let the experts decide? Asymmetric information, abstention, and coordination in standing committees," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 485-509, June.
    6. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-424, June.
    7. Clark, Kenneth & Sefton, Martin, 2001. "Repetition and signalling: experimental evidence from games with efficient equilibria," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 357-362, March.
    8. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2008. "Information Aggregation and Strategic Abstention in Large Laboratory Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 194-200, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Information aggregation; Voting; Asymmetric information; Swing voter's curse;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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