On the Membership of Decision-Making Committees
Paper number: 00/09
Paper date: November 2000
Paper Category: Working Paper
George Bulkley, Gareth D. Myles and Bernard R. Pearson
The decision of a committee is determined jointly by the voting process it adopts and the composition of its membership. The paper analyses the process through which committee members emerge from the eligible population and traces the consequences of this for the decisions of the committee. It is shown that the equilibrium committee will be composed of representatives from the extremes of the taste distribution. These extremes balance each other and the committee reaches a moderate decision. However, this mutual negation by the extremes is a socially wasteful use of time. Data from the UK House of Lords is used to illustrate these results.