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Information Aggregation and Optimal Structure of the Executive

Dewan, Torun and Galeotti, Andrea and Ghiglino, Christian and Squintani, Francesco (2015) 'Information Aggregation and Optimal Structure of the Executive.' American Journal of Political Science, 59 (2). pp. 475-494. ISSN 0092-5853

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords: L91; L96
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2015 10:36
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:26

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