On Committees of Experts

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. TI 2005-028/1

43 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2005

See all articles by Bauke Visser

Bauke Visser

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

Otto H. Swank

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

Date Written: March 10, 2005

Abstract

We consider a committee that makes a decision on a project on behalf of 'the public'. Members of the committee agree on the a priori value of the project, and hold additional private information about its consequences. They are experts who care both about the value of the project and about being considered well informed. Before voting on the project, members can exchange their private information simultaneously (so no herding). We show that reputational concerns make the a priori unconventional decision more attractive and lead committees to show a united front. These results hold irrespective of whether information can be manipulated or not. Next, we show that reputational concerns induce members to manipulate information and vote strategically if their preferences differ considerably from those of the member casting the decisive vote. Our last result is that the optimal voting rule balances the quality of information exchange and the alignment of interests of the decisive voter with those of the public.

Keywords: Committees, communication, reputational concerns, strategic voting

JEL Classification: D71, D72, D82

Suggested Citation

Visser, Bauke and Swank, Otto H., On Committees of Experts (March 10, 2005). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. TI 2005-028/1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=685766 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.685766

Bauke Visser (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+ 31 (0)10 40 81449 (81441) (Phone)
+ 31 (0)10 40 89149 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute Rotterdam (TIR)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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)

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