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Collective experimentation: A laboratory study

Freer, Mikhail and Martinelli, César and Wang, Siyu (2019) 'Collective experimentation: A laboratory study.' Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. ISSN 0167-2681

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We develop a simple model of collective experimentation and take it to the lab. In equilibrium, as in the recent work of Strulovici (2010), majority rule has a bias toward under-experimentation, as good news for a minority of voters may lead a majority of voters to abandon a policy when each of them thinks it is likely that the policy will be passed by a future majority excluding them. We compare the behavior in the lab of groups under majority rule and under the optimal voting rule, which precludes voting in intermediate stages of the policy experiment. Surprisingly, simple majority performs better than the (theoretically) optimal voting rule. Majority rule seems to lead to better outcomes than other forms of voting when players make mistakes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Collective experimentation, Strategic voting, Over-optimism
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2019 14:01
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2019 14:15

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