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How Individual Preferences are Aggregated in Groups: An Experimental Study

Author

Listed:
  • Attila Ambrus

    () (Department of Economics, Duke University)

  • Ben Greiner

    () (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)

  • Parag A. Pathak

    () (Department of Economics, MIT)

Abstract

This paper experimentally investigates how individual preferences, through unrestricted deliberation, are aggregated into a group decision in two contexts: reciprocating gifts and choosing between lotteries. In both contexts, we find that median group members have a significant impact on the group decision, but the median is not the only influential group member. Non-median members closer to the median tend to have more influence than other members. By investigating the same individual’s influence in different groups, we find evidence for relative position in the group having a direct effect on influence. These results are consistent with predictions from a spatial model of dynamic bargaining determining group choices. We also find that group deliberation involves bargaining and compromise as well as persuasion: preferences tend to shift towards the choice of the individual’s previous group, especially for those with extreme individual preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Attila Ambrus & Ben Greiner & Parag A. Pathak, 2014. "How Individual Preferences are Aggregated in Groups: An Experimental Study," Discussion Papers 2014-30, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  • Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2014-30
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    File URL: http://research.economics.unsw.edu.au/RePEc/papers/2014-30.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Valeria Faralla & Guido Borà & Alessandro Innocenti & Marco Novarese, 2018. "Promises in Group Decision Making," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 051, University of Siena.
    2. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:238-252 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Yayan Hernuryadin & Koji Kotani & Yoshio Kamijo, 2018. "Time preferences between individuals and groups in the transition from hunter-gatherer to industrial societiesm," Working Papers SDES-2018-1, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Jun 2018.
    4. Yayan Hernuryadin & Koji Kotani & Yoshio Kamijo, 2018. "Time preferences between individuals and groups in the transition from hunter-gatherer to industrial societiesm," Working Papers SDE-2018-1, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Jun 2018.
    5. Andrea Morone & Francesco Nemore & Tiziana Temerario, 2017. "Individual and group preferences over risk: Does group size matter?," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2017/12, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    6. Yoshio Kamijo & Teruyuki Tamura, 2016. "Altruistic and risk preference of individuals and groups," Working Papers SDES-2016-12, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Oct 2016.
    7. Morone, Andrea & Temerario, Tiziana, 2016. "Group preferences over social risk: does (group) size matter?," MPRA Paper 74949, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Chen, Daniel L. & Michaeli, Moti & Spiro, Daniel, 2016. "Ideological Perfectionism," IAST Working Papers 16-47, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    9. Morone, Andrea & Temerario, Tiziana, 2016. "Preferences over social risk: does (group) size matter?," EconStor Preprints 147413, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    group decision-making; role of deliberation; social influence;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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