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Public versus Secret Voting in Committees

Author

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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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    File URL: http://www.repec.eae.fea.usp.br/documentos/Mattozzi_Nakaguma_29WP.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gilat Levy, 2007. "Decision Making in Committees: Transparency, Reputation, and Voting Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 150-168, March.
    2. Coughlan, Peter J., 2000. "In Defense of Unanimous Jury Verdicts: Mistrials, Communication, and Strategic Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 375-393, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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).
    2. Riboni, Alessandro & Ruge-Murcia, Francisco, 2019. "Mind-changes at the FOMC," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    3. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Committees; Voting; Career Concern; Transparency;

    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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