Corruption in Committees

Rebecca Morton, Jean-Robert Tyran

We investigate experimentally the effects of corrupt experts on information aggregation in committees. We find that non-experts are significantly less likely to delegate through abstention when there is a probability that experts are corrupt. Such decreased abstention, when the probability of corrupt experts is low, actually increases information efficiency in committee decision-making. However, if the probability of corrupt experts is large, the effect is not sufficient to offset the mechanical effect of decreased information efficiency due to corrupt experts. Our results demonstrate that the norm of “letting the expert decide” in committee voting is influenced by the probability of corrupt experts, and that influence
can have, to a limited extent, a positive effect on information efficiency.

Department of Economics, Vienna Center for Experimental Economics
External organisation(s)
New York University
No. 14-18
No. of pages
Publication date
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
502024 Public economy
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