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Costly Voting in Weighted Committees: The case of moral costs

Nicola Maaser () and Thomas Stratmann
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Nicola Maaser: Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Postal: Fuglesangs Alle 4, DK-8210 Aarhus V, Denmark

Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University

Abstract: We develop a theoretical model of voting behavior in committees when members differ in influence and receive payoffs that condition on the individual vote and the collective decision. Applied to a group decision involving moral costs, the model predicts that the distribution of decision-making power affects committee members’ incentives to make immoral choices: More influential agents tend to support the immoral choice, while less influential agents free-ride. A skewed power distribution makes immoral collective choices more likely. We then present results of a laboratory experiment that studies committee members’ voting behavior and collective choices under different distributions of decision-making power. As hypothesized, we find that the frequency of immoral decisions is positively related to an agent’s voting power.

Keywords: Moral decision-making; Committees; Decision rules; Deception; Institutions; Threshold public good games; Laboratory experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 D02 D71 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 60
Date: 2021-09-20
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-exp, nep-isf and nep-ore
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