How Individual Preferences are Aggregated in Groups: An Experimental Study

33 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2014

See all articles by Attila Ambrus

Attila Ambrus

Duke University - Department of Economics

Ben Greiner

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Parag A. Pathak

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 18, 2014

Abstract

This paper experimentally investigates how individual preferences, through unrestricted deliberation, are aggregated into a group decision in two contexts: reciprocating gifts and choosing between lotteries. In both contexts, we find that median group members have a significant impact on the group decision, but the median is not the only influential group member. Non-median members closer to the median tend to have more influence than other members. By investigating the same individual's influence in different groups, we find evidence for relative position in the group having a direct effect on influence. These results are consistent with predictions from a spatial model of dynamic bargaining determining group choices. We also find that group deliberation involves bargaining and compromise as well as persuasion: preferences tend to shift towards the choice of the individual's previous group, especially for those with extreme individual preferences.

Keywords: group decision-making, role of deliberation, social influence

JEL Classification: C72, C92, H41

Suggested Citation

Ambrus, Attila and Greiner, Ben and Pathak, Parag A., How Individual Preferences are Aggregated in Groups: An Experimental Study (June 18, 2014). UNSW Australian School of Business Research Paper No. 2014-30. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2458236 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2458236

Attila Ambrus

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Ben Greiner (Contact Author)

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

Parag A. Pathak

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-391
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
57
Abstract Views
505
rank
383,837
PlumX Metrics