On the Optimal Composition of Committees

14 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2014

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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Date Written: March 10, 2014

Abstract

This paper derives a simple characterization of how to optimally divide an organization’s experts into different decision-making committees. The focus is on many three-member committees that make decisions by a simple majority rule. We find that the allocation of experts to committees is optimal if and only if it minimizes the sum of the products of the experts’ skills in each committee. As a result, given the experts of any two committees, the product of the experts’ skills should be as similar as possible in the two committees, and it is never optimal to have the three worst experts in one committee and the three best experts in another.

Keywords: optimal composition of committees, simple majority rule

JEL Classification: D710

Suggested Citation

Ben-Yashar, Ruth and Danziger, Leif, On the Optimal Composition of Committees (March 10, 2014). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4685, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2419890

Ruth Ben-Yashar

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ramat-Gan, 52900
Israel

Leif Danziger (Contact Author)

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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