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Deliberating Collective Decisions

Jimmy Chan, Alessandro Lizzeri, Wing Suen and Leeat Yariv

Review of Economic Studies, 2018, vol. 85, issue 2, 929-963

Abstract: We present a dynamic model of sequential information acquisition by a heterogeneous committee. At each date, agents decide whether to vote to adopt one of two alternatives or continue to collect more information. The process stops when a qualified majority vote for an alternative. Three main insights emerge from our analysis and are consistent with an array of stylized facts regarding committee decision making. First, majority rule is more vulnerable than super-majority rules to the disproportionate influence of impatient committee members. Second, more diverse preferences, more patient members, or more unanimous decision voting rules lead to lengthier deliberation and more accurate decisions. Finally, balanced committees unanimously prefer to delegate deliberation power to a moderate chairman rather than be governed by a rule such as unanimity.

Keywords: Sequential likelihood ratio test; Optimal stopping; Swing voters; Collective learning (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D71 D72 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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