Choosing Choices: Agenda Selection with Uncertain Issues

27 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2011

Date Written: July 1, 2011


We study selection rules: the procedures committees use to choose whether to place an issue on their agenda. At the selection stage of the model, committee members are uncertain about their final preferences. They only know the probability that they will prefer the proposal to the status quo at the decision stage. This probability is private information. Then the probability that the proposal is adopted conditional on a voter being pivotal and eventually preferring the proposal increases at a faster rate with the selection rule than the same probability conditional on her eventually preferring the status quo. To compensate for that, voters become more conservative when the selection rule is more stringent. The decision rule has the opposite effect. We describe optimal rules at the limit when there is a linear cost of organizing the final election.

Keywords: Selection Rules, Strategic Voting, Asymmetric Information, Agenda Setting, Citizens' Initiative

JEL Classification: D72, D83

Suggested Citation

Godefroy, Raphael and Perez-Richet, Eduardo, Choosing Choices: Agenda Selection with Uncertain Issues (July 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Raphael Godefroy (Contact Author)

University of Montreal ( email )

C.P. 6128 succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7

HOME PAGE: http://

Eduardo Perez-Richet

Sciences Po ( email )

28, rue des Saints-Pères
Paris, Paris 75007

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