COMMITTEES AS SUBSTITUTES FOR COMMITMENT*

Authors

  • Alessandro Riboni

    1. Université de Montréal, Canada
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    • 1

      This article is a revised version of the first chapter of my thesis at the University of Rochester. I am grateful to Francesco Squintani for insightful advice. I have also benefited from discussions with Stefania Albanesi, Leonardo Felli, Vincenzo Galasso, Hugo Hopenhayn, Josef Perktold, Michael Raith, Thomas Renström, Alan Stockman, Guido Tabellini, and seminar participants at various institutions. I also thank three anonymous referees for giving me very useful advice. The author acknowledges financial support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Please address correspondence to: Alessandro Riboni, Department des Sciences Economiques, Université de Montréal, C.P 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3C 3J7. Phone: 514 343 2397. Fax: 514 343 7221. E-mail: alessandro.riboni@umontreal.ca.


  • *

    Manuscript received 19 November 2007; accepted 5 September 2008.

Abstract

In this article, policies are negotiated in a committee by playing a dynamic voting game with an endogenous default (or status quo) policy. I show that joining a committee by maintaining a strong agenda setting power is a way for a decision maker to commit to a policy that in absence of committees is not time consistent. The disciplinary role of the endogenous status quo and the heterogeneity of preferences within the committee are two crucial ingredients to obtain this result. As a motivating example, this article focuses on the time consistency of monetary policy.

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