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Deliberation, Leadership and Information Aggregation

We analyse committees of voters who take a decision between two options as a two- stage process. In a discussion stage, voters share non-verifiable information about a private signal concerning what is the best option. In a voting stage, votes are cast and one of the options is implemented. We introduce the possibility of leadership whereby a certain voter, the leader, is more influential than the rest at the discussion stage even though she is not better informed. We study information transmission and characterize the effects of the leader on the deliberation process. We find, amongst others, that both the quality of the decision taken by the committee and how truthful voters are at the discussion stage depends non-monotonically on how influential the leader is. In particular, although a leader whose influence is weak does not disrupt the decision process of the committee in any way, a very influential leader is less disruptive than a moderately influential leader.

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Paper provided by Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico in its series Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE with number 2014-04.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucm:doicae:1404
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  1. Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "The Swing Voter's Curse," Discussion Papers 1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Gershkov, Alex & Szentes, Balázs, 2009. "Optimal voting schemes with costly information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 36-68, January.
  3. Ran Spiegler, 2003. "Argumentation in Multi-Issue Debates," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000204, David K. Levine.
  4. Glazer, Jacob & Rubinstein, Ariel, 2001. "Debates and Decisions: On a Rationale of Argumentation Rules," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 158-173, August.
  5. Martinelli, Cesar, 2006. "Would rational voters acquire costly information?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 225-251, July.
  6. Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
  7. Torun Dewan & David P Myatt, 2012. "On the rhetorical strategies of leaders: Speaking clearly, standing back, and stepping down," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(4), pages 431-460, October.
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