Corruption in Committees: An Experimental Study of Information Aggregation through Voting

46 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2014

See all articles by Rebecca Morton

Rebecca Morton

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Jean-Robert Tyran

University of Vienna; University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: September 7, 2014

Abstract

We investigate experimentally the effects of corrupt experts on information aggregation in committees. We find that non-experts are significantly less likely to delegate through abstention when there is a probability that experts are corrupt. Such decreased abstention when the probability of corrupt experts is low, actually increases information efficiency in committee decision-making. However, if the probability of corrupt experts is large, the effect is not sufficient to offset the mechanical effect of decreased information efficiency due to corrupt experts. Our results demonstrate that the norm of “letting the expert decide” in committee voting is influenced by the probability of corrupt experts, and that influence can have, to a limited extent, a positive effect on information efficiency.

Keywords: Information aggregation, Voting, Asymmetric information, Swing voterʼs curse

JEL Classification: C92, D71, D72, D81, D82

Suggested Citation

Morton, Rebecca and Tyran, Jean-Robert, Corruption in Committees: An Experimental Study of Information Aggregation through Voting (September 7, 2014). Univ. of Copenhagen Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 14-18, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2497996 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2497996

Rebecca Morton (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-998-3706 (Phone)

Jean-Robert Tyran

University of Vienna ( email )

Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1
Vienna, Vienna 1090
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://homepage.univie.ac.at/jean-robert.tyran/

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark
+45 353 23 027 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ku.dk/tyran/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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