Information Acquisition and Transparency in Committees

36 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2008 Last revised: 29 Sep 2010

See all articles by Hans Gersbach

Hans Gersbach

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Volker Hahn

University of Konstanz

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2010

Abstract

We study an intertemporal model of committee decision-making where members differ in their levels of efficiency. They may acquire costly information that enhances their ability to make a correct decision. We focus on the impact of transparency. We show that the principal’s initial utility is higher under transparency, because members exert more effort, which makes correct decisions more likely. The principal also benefits from transparency later, unless transparency leads to an alignment of the signal qualities of highly efficient and less efficient committee members. In general, committee members are harmed by transparency. Together with the insights from the literature, our results may help to decide when transparency in committees is desirable.

Keywords: committees, career concerns, experts, transparency, information acquisition

JEL Classification: D71

Suggested Citation

Gersbach, Hans and Hahn, Volker, Information Acquisition and Transparency in Committees (July 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1084060 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1084060

Hans Gersbach

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 82 80 (Phone)
+41 44 632 18 30 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Volker Hahn (Contact Author)

University of Konstanz ( email )

Box 143
Konstanz, 78457
Germany

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