Three essays in collective decision making
Title: Three essays in collective decision making
Author: HUGHES, Niall
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2013
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Economics
This thesis is a collection of three essays on voting as a means of collective decision- making. The first chapter builds a model of how voters should optimally behave in a legislative election with three parties under plurality rule. I show that, in contrast to single district elections, properties such as polarisation and misaligned voting can be mitigated in legislative elections. The second chapter studies a model of committee decision making where members have career concerns and a principal can choose the level of transparency (how much of the committees decision he can observe). We show that increased transparency leads to a breakdown in information aggregation, but that this may actually increase the principal’s payoff. The theoretical model is then tested in a laboratory experiment. The final chapter introduces a model of legislative bargaining where three parties in the legislature bargain over the formation of government by choosing a policy and a distribution of government perks. I show that when individual politicians are responsible for the policies they implement - that is, those outside of government are not held accountable by voters for the implemented governments policies, while each individual politician in the ruling coalition is - then a given seat distribution can result in almost any two party coalition.
LC Subject Heading: Group decision making; Elections; Social choice; Game theory
Examining Board: Professor Massimo Morelli, Columbia University (Supervisor) Professor Andrea Mattozzi, European University Institute Professor Micael Castanheira, ECARES, Brussels Professor François Maniquet, Université Catholique de Louvain.; Defence date: 22 November 2013
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