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: Suggested Citation