Deliberating Collective Decisions

51 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2015

See all articles by Hing Chi Jimmy Chan

Hing Chi Jimmy Chan

Johns Hopkins University

Alessandro Lizzeri

Princeton University - Department of Economics

Wing Suen

The University of Hong Kong - School of Economics and Finance

Leeat Yariv

Princeton University

Date Written: March 2015

Abstract

We present a dynamic model of sequential information acquisition by a heterogeneous committee. At each date agents decide whether to vote to adopt one of two alternatives or continue to collect more information. The process stops when a qualified majority vote for an alternative. Three main insights emerge from our analysis and match an array of stylized facts on committee decision making. First, majority rule is more fragile than super-majority rules to impatient committee members. Second, more diverse preferences, more consensual deliberation rules, or more unanimous decision voting rules lead to lengthier deliberation and more accurate decisions. Last, balanced committees unanimously prefer to delegate deliberation power to a moderate chairman rather than be governed by a deliberation rule such as unanimity.

Keywords: collec- tive learning, optimal stopping, sequential likelihood ratio test, swing voters

JEL Classification: D71, D72, D83

Suggested Citation

Chan, Hing Chi Jimmy and Lizzeri, Alessandro and Suen, Wing C. and Yariv, Leeat, Deliberating Collective Decisions (March 2015). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10466, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2575770

Hing Chi Jimmy Chan (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University

Alessandro Lizzeri

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
08544 (Fax)

Wing C. Suen

The University of Hong Kong - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

8th Floor Kennedy Town Centre
23 Belcher's Street
Kennedy Town
Hong Kong
852 2859 1052 (Phone)
852 2548 1152 (Fax)

Leeat Yariv

Princeton University ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

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