nep-cdm New Economics Papers
on Collective Decision-Making
Issue of 2023‒11‒13
three papers chosen by
Stan C. Weeber, McNeese State University

  1. The Value of Consensus. An Experimental Analysis of Costly Deliberation. By Marcello Puca; Krista Jabs Saral; Simone M. Sepe
  2. Designing Digital Voting Systems for Citizens: Achieving Fairness and Legitimacy in Digital Participatory Budgeting By Joshua C. Yang; Carina I. Hausladen; Dominik Peters; Evangelos Pournaras; Regula Haenggli Fricker; Dirk Helbing
  3. Using Milestones as a Source of Feedback in Teamwork: Insights from a Dynamic Voluntary Contribution Mechanism By Nisvan Erkal; Boon Han Koh; Nguyen Lam

  1. By: Marcello Puca (Università di Bergamo, CSEF and Webster University Geneva); Krista Jabs Saral (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne, and Webster University Geneva); Simone M. Sepe (University of Arizona, Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, TSE, and ECGI)
    Abstract: Combining theory and experiments, we examine decision-making with endogenous deliberation across different voting rules: consensus and veto unanimity, and simple majority. Before voting, asymmetrically informed agents choose whether to engage in potentially costly communication to aggregate their private information. In line with existing studies, we find that free communication minimizes differences in decision-making across rules. In contrast, with costly communication, differences in decision-making re-emerge as the voting rules affect communication and private information aggregation. Consensus unanimity frequently outperforms the other rules because it induces more communication among agents. This work provides a new rationale for the legitimacy of the commonly used consensus unanimity voting rule in jury trials.
    Keywords: Group Decision-Making, Voting Rules, Endogenous Communication, Costly Communication, Experts, Juries, Economic Experiments.
    JEL: C7 D9
    Date: 2023–07–18
  2. By: Joshua C. Yang; Carina I. Hausladen; Dominik Peters; Evangelos Pournaras; Regula Haenggli Fricker; Dirk Helbing
    Abstract: Digital Participatory Budgeting (PB) has become a key democratic tool for resource allocation in cities. Enabled by digital platforms, new voting input formats and aggregation have been utilised. Yet, challenges in achieving fairness and legitimacy persist. This study investigates the trade-offs in various voting and aggregation methods within digital PB. Through behavioural experiments, we identified favourable voting design combinations in terms of cognitive load, proportionality, and perceived legitimacy. The research reveals how design choices profoundly influence collective decision-making, citizen perceptions, and outcome fairness. Our findings offer actionable insights for human-computer interaction, mechanism design, and computational social choice, contributing to the development of fairer and more transparent digital PB systems and multi-winner collective decision-making process for citizens.
    Date: 2023–10
  3. By: Nisvan Erkal (Department of Economics, University of Melbourne); Boon Han Koh (Department of Economics, University of Exeter); Nguyen Lam (Department of Economics, University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: Many economic activities rely on teamwork where groups of individuals work together for a common goal by pooling their resources or skills. However, cooperation within teams can be challenging due to the social dilemma problem which arises when individual incentives interfere with operational effectiveness. We study teamwork in a dynamic public goods game setting where individuals make multiple contribution decisions to a team project and face strategic uncertainty about the behavior of their team members. We examine whether providing feedback about the team’s progress at regular intervals (time-based feedback) or based on the achievement of milestones (milestone-based feedback) is more beneficial for increasing aggregate contributions. Our results reveal that providing milestone-based feedback leads to a significant increase in aggregate team contributions as compared to time-based feedback. This impact is largely driven by conditional cooperators. Findings from a follow-up experiment reveal evidence of a goal effect, a signaling effect, and an information effect arising from the use of milestones on the behavior of conditional cooperators.
    Keywords: teamwork, public good provision, milestones, feedback, voluntary contribution mechanism
    JEL: C92 D83 D91 H41
    Date: 2023–09–12

This nep-cdm issue is ©2023 by Stan C. Weeber. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.