Informational Consequences of Agenda Procedures
37 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2011 Last revised: 22 Jan 2013
Date Written: July 12, 2011
Agenda procedures are an important aspect of political decision making in legislatures. This paper compares different agenda forms and evaluates them on their ability to amalgamate information. I model voters with private information, but subject to party pressures, voting in a common value environment and use this model to compare different agenda forms. Special attention is paid to two agenda forms commonly used in practice: the amendment agenda and the sequential elimination agenda. I find that amendment agendas select superior outcomes more often than sequential elimination agendas when there is much ex-ante uncertainty; that the amendment agenda is better able to extract information from votes, but this information can be to the detriment of a group if information is of poor quality.
Keywords: amendment procedure, information aggregation, legislative voting
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