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A capture theory of committees

Alvaro J. Name-Correa () and Huseyin Yildirim ()
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Alvaro J. Name-Correa: Universidad Carlos III
Huseyin Yildirim: Duke University

Public Choice, 2018, vol. 177, issue 1, 135-154

Abstract: Abstract Why do committees exist? The extant literature emphasizes that they pool dispersed information across members. In this paper, we argue that they may also serve to discourage outside influence or capture by raising its cost. As such, committees may contain members who are uninformed or who add no new information to the collective decision. We show that the optimal committee is larger when outsiders have larger stakes in its decision or contribute lower-quality proposals, or when its members are more corruptible. We also show that keeping committee members anonymous and accountable for their votes helps deter capture.

Keywords: Committee; Capture; Bribe; Threat; Disclosure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D02 D71 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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