When the Powerful Drag Their Feet
We examine the timing of group decisions that are taken by weighted voting. Decision-making is in two stages. In the second stage, players vote on a policy restriction. In the first stage, players vote to determine the timing of the second-stage decision: “early”, before players’ types are revealed, or “late”. Players differ in both size and voting power. We show that players with greater power tend to prefer a late vote, whereas less powerful players tend to want to vote early. By contrast, large players tend to prefer an early vote and small players a late vote. We present evidence from the literatures on corporate governance, international relations, European Union governance, and oil extraction. We examine an extension in which players choose the qualified majority threshold besides the timing of the second-stage vote.
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