Committee Decision-Making under the Threat of Leaks

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2023
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The Journal of Politics. University of Chicago Press. 2023, 85(3), pp. 1107-1122. ISSN 0022-3816. eISSN 1468-2508. Available under: doi: 10.1086/723819
Zusammenfassung

Leaks are pervasive in politics. Hence, many committees that nominally operate under secrecy de facto operate under the threat that information might be passed on to outsiders. We study theoretically and experimentally how this possibility affects the behavior of committee members and decision-making accuracy. Our theoretical analysis generates two major predictions. First, a committee operating under the threat of leaks is equivalent to a formally transparent committee in terms of the probability of supporting the adoption of a new policy. Second, the threat of leaks leads to status quo bias. In our experimental analysis of a committee with possible leaks, individual behavior is often less strategic than theoretically predicted, which leads to frequent leaks. However, despite these deviations on the individual level, our experiment confirms the two major theoretical predictions.

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ISO 690FEHRLER, Sebastian, Volker HAHN, 2023. Committee Decision-Making under the Threat of Leaks. In: The Journal of Politics. University of Chicago Press. 2023, 85(3), pp. 1107-1122. ISSN 0022-3816. eISSN 1468-2508. Available under: doi: 10.1086/723819
BibTex
@article{Fehrler2023Commi-67029,
  year={2023},
  doi={10.1086/723819},
  title={Committee Decision-Making under the Threat of Leaks},
  number={3},
  volume={85},
  issn={0022-3816},
  journal={The Journal of Politics},
  pages={1107--1122},
  author={Fehrler, Sebastian and Hahn, Volker}
}
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