CFDP 1411R

Information Acquisition in Committees

Author(s): 

Publication Date: March 2003

Revision Date: May 2007

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.

Keywords: 

Collective choice, Mechanism design, Information acquisition

JEL Classification Codes:  D71, D72, D78

See CFP: 1238