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Optimal two stage committee voting rules

Author

Listed:
  • Ian Ayres

    (Yale Law School)

  • Colin Rowat

    (University of Birmingham)

  • Nasser Zakariya

    (FAS, Harvard University)

Abstract

We study option management by committee. Analysis is illustrated by tenure decisions. Our innovations are two-fold: we treat the committee's problem as one of social choice, not of information aggregation; and we endogenise the outside option: rejecting a candidate at either the probationary or tenure stage return the committee to a candidate pool. For committees with N members, we find three key results: (1) a candidate's fate depends only on the behaviour of two `weather-vane' committee members - generalised median voters; (2) enthusiastic assessments by one of these weather-vanes may harm a candidate's chances by increasing others' thresholds for hiring him; and (3) sunk time costs may lead voters who opposed hiring a candidate to favour tenuring him, even after a poor probationary performance. We also characterise the optimal voting rule when N=2. A patient or perceptive committee does best with a (weak) majority at the hiring stage and unanimity at the tenure stage. An impatient or imperceptive committee does best under a double (weak) majority rule. If particularly impatient or imperceptive, this rule implies that any hire is automatically tenured. Perversely, the performance of a patient, imperceptive committee improves as its perceptiveness further declines.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Ayres & Colin Rowat & Nasser Zakariya, 2004. "Optimal two stage committee voting rules," Game Theory and Information 0412006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0412006
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 40. University of Birmingham, Department of Economics Working Paper, 04-23 (11 November 2004)
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intertemporal strategic voting; real options; social choice; heterogenous priors; tenure;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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