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