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

Listed author(s):
  • Rebecca Morton

    (Department of Politics, New York University)

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University)

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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File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/dp_2014/1418.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 14-18.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 07 Sep 2014
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1418
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  1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:93:y:1999:i:02:p:381-398_21 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. 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.
  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. 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.
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