Deliberation and Voting Rules

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

We analyze a formal model of decision-making by a deliberative committee. There is a given binary agenda. Individuals evaluate the two alternatives on both private and common interest grounds. Each individual has two sorts of private information going into committee: (a) perfect information about their personal bias and (b) noisy information about which alternative is best with respect to a (commonly held) normative criterion. Prior to a committee vote to choose an alternative, committee members engage in deliberation, modeled as a simultaneous cheap-talk game. We explore and compare equilibrium properties under majority and unanimity voting rules, paying particular attention to the character of debate (who influences who and how) and quality of the decision in each instance. On balance, majority rule induces more information sharing and fewer decision-making errors than unanimity. Furthermore, the influence and character of deliberation per se can vary more under majority rule than under unanimity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Choice and Strategic Decisions
Subtitle of host publicationEssays in Honor of Jeffrey S. Banks
EditorsDavid Austen-Smith, John Duggan
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Pages269-316
Number of pages48
ISBN (Electronic)9783540272953
ISBN (Print)9783540220534
StatePublished - 2005

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    Austen-Smith, M. D., & Feddersen, T. J. (2005). Deliberation and Voting Rules. In D. Austen-Smith, & J. Duggan (Eds.), Social Choice and Strategic Decisions: Essays in Honor of Jeffrey S. Banks (pp. 269-316). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F3-540-27295-X_11