Jury decisions and hiring decisions by company boards are just some examples of sequential public voting where members might care to look similar in their preferences to other members. We argue that such social-image concerns can result in inefficiencies where even the majority voting rule doesn't necessarily select the majority preferred option. We model binary decisions in three-member groups with public and sequential votes aggregated using the majority rule. Each member is randomly drawn from the population and has a private binary type which is her individually preferred decision. One of the members may have image concerns that compel her to vote differently than her type. We show that when the proportion of types in the population is close to equal, then this member is more likely to vote against her own type if she votes second than if she votes first. This ranking, however, can flip if the population share of the majority type is close to 1. That is, simultaneous voting can be worse than sequential voting. We propose an experimental design to test the relevance of social-image concerns in group decisions.
30 Nov. 2021
IMS Brown Bag
Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)