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Public versus Secret Voting in Committees

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  • Andrea Mattozzi
  • Marcos Y. Nakaguma

Abstract

This paper studies a committee decision-making problem. Committee members are heterogeneous in their competence, they are biased towards one of the alternatives and career oriented, and they can choose whether to vote or abstain. The interaction between career concern and bias affects the voting behavior of members depending on transparency of individual votes. We show that transparency attenuates the pre-existing biases of competent members and exacerbates the biases of incompetent members. Public voting leads to better decisions when the magnitude of the bias is large, while secret voting performs better otherwise. We provide experimental evidence supporting our theoretical conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Mattozzi & Marcos Y. Nakaguma, 2016. "Public versus Secret Voting in Committees," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2016_29, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
  • Handle: RePEc:spa:wpaper:2016wpecon29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fehrler, Sebastian & Janas, Moritz, 2021. "Delegation to a Group," IZA Discussion Papers 14426, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Emeric Henry & Charles Louis-Sidois, 2018. "Voting and Contributing While the Group is Watching," SciencePo Working papers Main hal-03393121, HAL.
    3. Swank, Otto H. & Visser, Bauke, 2023. "Committees as active audiences: Reputation concerns and information acquisition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 221(C).
    4. Herrera, Helios & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & McMurray, Joseph C., 2019. "Information aggregation and turnout in proportional representation: A laboratory experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 179(C).
    5. Emeric Henry & Charles Louis-Sidois, 2020. "Voting and Contributing When the Group Is Watching," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 246-276, August.
    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. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Moumita Deb & Johannes Lohse & Rebecca McDonald, 2024. "The swing voter's curse revisited: Transparency's impact on committee voting," Discussion Papers 24-01, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    8. Heloise Clolery, 2021. "Legislators in the Crossfire: The Effect of Transparency on Parliamentary Voting," Working Papers 2021-12, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    9. Debrah Meloso & Salvatore Nunnari & Marco Ottaviani, 2023. "Looking into Crystal Balls: A Laboratory Experiment on Reputational Cheap Talk," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 69(9), pages 5112-5127, September.
    10. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/4g5hemr5o18g7os4h53mulpcam is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:hal:wpspec:info:hdl:2441/4g5hemr5o18g7os4h53mulpcam is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Riboni, Alessandro & Ruge-Murcia, Francisco, 2019. "Mind-changes at the FOMC," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    13. Cloléry, Héloïse, 2023. "Legislators in the crossfire: Strategic non-voting and the effect of transparency," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    14. Bandyopadhyay, Siddhartha & Deb, Moumita & Lohse, Johannes & McDonald, Rebecca, 2024. "The Swing Voter’s Curse Revisited: Transparency’s Impact on Committee Voting," Working Papers 0744, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    15. Alessandro RIBONI & Francisco RUGE-MURCIA, 2018. "Deliberation in Committees : Theory and Evidence from the FOMC," Cahiers de recherche 01-2018, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Committees; Voting; Career Concern; Transparency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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