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Social pressure, transparency, and voting in committees

Alvaro J. Name-Correa and Huseyin Yildirim

Journal of Economic Theory, 2019, vol. 184, issue C

Abstract: We examine the consequences of vote transparency in committees whose members fear being blamed by interested observers for casting an unfavorable vote. We show that while individually undesirable, such social pressure can improve the collective decision by mitigating a voting externality. Hence, organizations may adopt public voting when the fear of blame is too little, and secret voting when the fear is too much. We also show that public voting is particularly desirable in committees with overly biased members or overly biased voting rules against the alternative. Anecdotal evidence supports our findings.

Keywords: Committee; Blame; Transparency; Social pressure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D02 D71 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2019.104943

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