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Meetings with Costly Participation: An Empirical Investigation

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  • Matthew A. Turner
  • Quinn Weninger

Abstract

Despite their importance in economic life, meetings with costly participation are little studied. This paper is an empirical analysis of participation at public meetings. We investigate basic and previously unaddressed questions about meetings with costly participation. Who goes? Does attendance vary with observable characteristics? Do meeting attendees represent the interested population? We find that (1), the opinions of participants do not represent the opinions of the entire regulated population, (2) that the opinions of participants are extreme relative to the whole population, (3) that private information does not affect participation decisions in an important way, and (4), that small changes to meeting protocols have the potential to manipulate the sample of participants. These results lay a foundation for the problem of tailoring meeting protocols to achieve particular welfare objectives.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew A. Turner & Quinn Weninger, 2001. "Meetings with Costly Participation: An Empirical Investigation," Working Papers mturner-01-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:mturner-01-02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bulkley, George & Myles, Gareth D & Pearson, Bernard R, 2001. "On the Membership of Decision-Making Committees," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 106(1-2), pages 1-22, January.
    2. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
    3. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-424, June.
    4. Hao Li & Sherwin Rosen & Wing Suen, 2001. "Conflicts and Common Interests in Committees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1478-1497, December.
    5. Jeffrey S. Rosenthal & Martin J. Osborne & Matthew A. Turner, 2000. "Meetings with Costly Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 927-943, September.
    6. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
    7. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
    8. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
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