Communication and voting in heterogeneous committees: An experimental study

Date: 2016-03
By: Mark T. Le Quement (University of Bonn)
Isabel Marcin (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2016_05&r=net
We study experimentally the effectiveness of communication in common value committees exhibiting publicly known heterogeneous biases. We test models assuming respectively self-interested and strategic-, joint payoff-maximizing- and cognitively heterogeneous agents. These predict varying degrees of strategic communication. We use a 2 x 2 design varying the information protocol (communication vs exogenous public signals) and the group composition (heterogeneous vs homogeneous). Results are only consistent with the third model. Roughly 80% of (heuristic) subjects truth-tell and vote with the majority of announced signals. Remaining (sophisticated) agents lie strategically and approximately apply their optimal decision rule.
Keywords: Committees, Voting, Information Aggregation, Cheap Talk, Experiment
JEL: C92 D72 D82 D83
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