Committees and Reciprocity
34 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2006
Date Written: February 2006
In this paper we examine the impact of reciprocal motives on decision-making in a committee. We show that any voting behavior that constitutes an equilibrium without reciprocity also represents an equilibrium when people are reciprocally motivated. If reciprocal motives are important, additional equilibria may exist. All of them involve lower material payoffs and lower overall utility for a large majority of members compared to the equilibria where the voting behavior of Nash equilibria is chosen. We discuss mechanisms, for example incentive contracts, that may eliminate the negative effects of reciprocity. Moreover, in a dynamic framework we show that psychological log-rolling equilibria may exist, where some agents perceive others as friendly and therefore accept projects that are detrimental to themselves but beneficial to others.
Keywords: reciprocity, committees, log-rolling, voting
JEL Classification: D71, C70, D63
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation