Title

Information Acquisition in Committees

Document Type

Discussion Paper

Publication Date

3-1-2003

CFDP Number

1411R

CFDP Revision Date

2007-05-01

CFDP Pages

53

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to illustrate the significance of information acquisition in mechanism design. We provide a stark example of a mechanism design problem in a collective choice environment with information acquisition. We concentrate on committees that are comprised of agents sharing a common goal and having a joint task. Members of the committee decide whether to acquire costly information or not at the outset and are then asked to report their private information. The designer can choose the size of the committee, as well as the procedure by which it selects the collective choice, i.e., the correspondence between agents’ reports and distributions over collective choices. We show that the ex-ante optimal device may be ex-post inefficient, i.e., lead to suboptimal aggregation of information from a statistical point of view. For particular classes of parameters, we describe the full structure of the optimal mechanisms.

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