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Information Aggregation and Optimal Structure of the Executive

Dewan, T and Galeotti, A and Ghiglino, C and Squintani, F (2015) 'Information Aggregation and Optimal Structure of the Executive.' American Journal of Political Science, 59 (2). 475 - 494. ISSN 0092-5853

OptimalExecutiveStructure_AJPS_resub_Dec2013_Final.pdf - Submitted Version

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We model two aspects of executives in parliamentary democracies: Decision-making authority is assigned to individuals, and private information is aggregated through communication. When information is relevant to all policies and communication is private, all decisions should be centralized to a single politician. A government that holds cabinet meetings, where information is made available to all decision makers, outperforms one where communication is private: A multimember cabinet can be optimal; it need not be single peaked around the most moderate politician or ideologically connected. Centralization is nonmonotonic in the degree of ideological divergence. In a large cabinet, all power should be given to the most moderate politician. Even when uncertainty is policy specific and a single politician is informed on each policy, power should never be fully decentralized. Our model provides a justification for centralized authority and cabinet meetings that enhance the quality of policy.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2015 10:36
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2021 16:15

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