Public versus secret voting in committees
Title: Public versus secret voting in committees
Series/Number: EUI ECO; 2016/08
This paper studies a committee decision-making problem. Committee members are heterogeneous in their competence, they are biased towards one of the alternatives and career oriented, and they can choose whether to vote or abstain. The interaction between career concern and bias affects the voting behavior of members depending on transparency of individual votes. We show that transparency attenuates the pre-existing biases of competent members and exacerbates the biases of incompetent members. Public voting leads to better decisions when the magnitude of the bias is large, while secret voting performs better otherwise. We provide experimental evidence supporting our theoretical conclusions.
Subject: Committees; Voting; Career concern; Transparency; D72; C92; D71
Type of Access: openAccess