Search by Committee

33 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2007

See all articles by James Albrecht

James Albrecht

Georgetown University - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Axel Anderson

Georgetown University - Department of Economics

Susan Vroman

Georgetown University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: November 2007

Abstract

We consider the problem of sequential search when the decision to stop searching is made by a committee. We show that a symmetric stationary equilibrium exists and is unique given that the distribution of rewards is log concave. Committee members set a lower acceptance threshold than do single - agent searchers. In addition, mean preserving spreads in the distribution of rewards may lower each member's continuation value - an impossibility in the single - agent setting. If committee members are very patient or very impatient, expected search duration is lower than it would be for a single agent, but, for intermediate levels of patience, this comparison may be reversed. Holding the fraction of votes required to stop fixed, expected search duration rises with committee size on patient committees but falls with committee size on impatient committees. Finally, we consider the effect of varying the number of votes required to stop, holding committee size constant. We show that the welfare - maximizing vote threshold increases in the rate of patience and that there is a finite bound on patience such that unanimity is welfare maximizing.

Keywords: sequential search, voting

JEL Classification: D72, D83

Suggested Citation

Albrecht, James W. and Anderson, Axel and Vroman, Susan B., Search by Committee (November 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 3137. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1032565

James W. Albrecht (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-687-6105 (Phone)
202-687-6102 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Axel Anderson

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Susan B. Vroman

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-687-6024 (Phone)
202-687-6102 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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