Symmetric and Asymmetric Committees

25 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2011

See all articles by Ruth Ben-Yashar

Ruth Ben-Yashar

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics

Leif Danziger

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

This paper studies the assignment of decision makers to two committees that make decisions by a simple majority rule. There is an even number of decision makers at each of various skill levels and each committee has an odd number of members. Surprisingly, even with the symmetric assumptions in the spirit of Condorcet, a symmetric composition of committees is not always optimal. In other words, decision makers with different skill levels should not generally be evenly divided among the committees. However, in the special case of only two skill levels, it is optimal to compose the committees evenly.

Keywords: committees, collective decision making, simple majority rule

JEL Classification: D70, D71, D72

Suggested Citation

Ben-Yashar, Ruth and Danziger, Leif, Symmetric and Asymmetric Committees. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5782, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1867051

Ruth Ben-Yashar (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ramat-Gan, 52900
Israel

Leif Danziger

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Department of Economics ( email )

Beer-Sheva 84105
Israel
8-6472295 (Phone)
8-6472941 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.bgu.ac.il/facultym/danziger/main.htm

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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