On the Composition of Committees

Tinbergen Institute Working Paper No. 2003-006/1

34 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2003

See all articles by Klaas J. Beniers

Klaas J. Beniers

Tinbergen Institute, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Otto H. Swank

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute Rotterdam (TIR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2003

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the role of committees in collective decision-making processes in a world where agents must be motivated to collect information. Committees improve the quality of decision-making by providing information and by coordinating the collection of information. We address two types of questions. First, how does the composition of a committee affect final decisions? Second, what is the optimal composition of a committee from the decision maker's point of view? As to the latter question, we show that the cost of information collection plays an important role. If this cost is low, then the preferences of the committee members should be aligned to those of the decision maker. Members with similar preferences as the decision maker collect the proper pieces of information. Moreover, manipulation of information does not occur if the preferences of the decision maker and the members are consonant. If the cost of searching is high, then the committee should be composed of members with polarized preferences. Outliers have a strong incentive to search for information.

Keywords: committees, information collection, preference outliers, moderates

JEL Classification: D81, D83

Suggested Citation

Beniers, Klaas J. and Swank, Otto H., On the Composition of Committees (January 2003). Tinbergen Institute Working Paper No. 2003-006/1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=372102 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.372102

Klaas J. Beniers (Contact Author)

Tinbergen Institute, Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 10 408 8928 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9031 (Fax)

Otto H. Swank

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute Rotterdam (TIR)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 10 4081448 (Phone)
+31 10 2120551 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
88
Abstract Views
1,334
rank
345,992
PlumX Metrics