Let the Experts Decide? Asymmetric Information, Abstention, and Coordination in Standing Committees

48 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2008

See all articles by Rebecca Morton

Rebecca Morton

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Jean-Robert Tyran

University of Vienna; University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: November 2, 2008

Abstract

We examine abstention when voters in standing committees are asymmetrically informed and there are multiple pure strategy equilibria-swing voter's curse (SVC) equilibria where voters with low quality information abstain and equilibria when all participants vote their information. When the asymmetry in information quality is large, we find that voting groups largely coordinate on the SVC equilibrium which is also Pareto Optimal. However, we find that when the asymmetry in information quality is not large and the Pareto Optimal equilibrium is for all to participate, significant numbers of voters with low quality information abstain. Furthermore, we find that information asymmetry induces voters with low quality information to coordinate on a non-equilibrium outcome. This suggests that coordination on "letting the experts" decide is a likely voting norm that sometimes validates SVC equilibrium predictions but other times does not.

Suggested Citation

Morton, Rebecca and Tyran, Jean-Robert, Let the Experts Decide? Asymmetric Information, Abstention, and Coordination in Standing Committees (November 2, 2008). Univ. of Copenhagen Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 08-25, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1296453 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1296453

Rebecca Morton (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-998-3706 (Phone)

Jean-Robert Tyran

University of Vienna ( email )

Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1
Vienna, Vienna 1090
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://homepage.univie.ac.at/jean-robert.tyran/

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Ă˜ster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark
+45 353 23 027 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ku.dk/tyran/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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