The Power of the Chairman's Agenda: An Experiment for Teaching 'Committee Karate' in the Classroom

Posted: 28 Aug 2017

Date Written: August 24, 2017

Abstract

The power of agenda setters is often raised when teaching parliamentary rules in political science and public choice classrooms. Most students do not have a frame of reference to understand the topic, and fail to internalize it. This paper describes a classroom experiment putting students in the position of representatives deciding over mutually exclusive proposals. The instructor divides students into subcommittees to lower the number of proposals to two, which are then voted for by the class. With proper planning, described within, the instructor can manipulate the outcome to match a preference held by a minority of the students.

Keywords: Voting, In-class activity, committees

Suggested Citation

Hammer, Eric, The Power of the Chairman's Agenda: An Experiment for Teaching 'Committee Karate' in the Classroom (August 24, 2017). GMU Working Paper in Economics Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3025494

Eric Hammer (Contact Author)

Hamline University ( email )

1536 Hewitt Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
United States

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