52. Heterogeneity and Unanimity: Optimal Committees with Information Acquisition
Xin Zhao, University of Technology Sydney
Date of publication: 6th October 2018
Working paper number: 52
This paper studies how the composition and voting rule of a decision-making committee affect the incentives for its members to acquire information. Fixing the voting rule, a more polarized committee acquires more information. If a committee designer can choose the committee members and voting rule to maximize her payoff from the collective decision, she forms a heterogeneous committee adopting a unanimous rule, in which one member moderately biased toward one decision serves as the decisive voter, and all others are extremely opposed to the decisive voter and serve as information providers. The preference of the decisive voter is not perfectly aligned with that of the designer.