Social Pressure, Transparency, and Voting in Committees
34 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2017 Last revised: 13 Oct 2017
Date Written: September 4, 2017
We examine the consequences of vote transparency in committees whose members fear being blamed by partisan observers for casting an unfavorable vote. We show that such social pressure, like optimal taxation, can improve the collective decision by mitigating a voting externality. Hence, institutions may adopt public voting when the fear of blame is too little, and secret voting when the fear is too much. We also show that public voting is particularly desirable in committees with overly biased members or overly biased voting rules against the alternative.
Keywords: Committee, Blame, Transparency, Social Pressure
JEL Classification: D02, D71, D91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation