Choosing Choices: Agenda Selection With Uncertain Issues


  • Raphael Godefroy,

    1. Département de sciences économiques, Université de Montréal, 3150 rue Jean Brillant, Montréal, QC H3T1N8, Canada;
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  • Eduardo Perez-Richet

    1. Département d'économie, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau CEDEX, France;
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    • We are grateful to Sourav Bhattacharya, Gabrielle Demange, Tiberiu Dragu, Matthew Jackson, Yukio Koriyama, Jean-François Laslier, Romans Pancs and Bruno Strulovici for insightful discussions and comments. We also thank the editor, Wolfgang Pesendorfer, and two anonymous referees for their comments and suggestions that led to considerable improvements of the paper. The paper has benefited from comments of seminar participants at Kellogg MEDS, Ecole Polytechnique, the Paris School of Economics, the Institut Henri Poincaré, the AEA meetings in Denver and the EEA meetings in Glasgow. Raphael Godefroy gratefully acknowledges financial support from Région Ile-de-France.


We study selection rules: voting procedures used by committees to choose whether to place an issue on their agenda. At the selection stage of the model, committee members are uncertain about their final preferences. They only have some private information about these preferences. We show that voters become more conservative when the selection rule itself becomes more conservative. The decision rule has the opposite effect. We compare these voting procedures to the designation of an agenda setter among the committee and to a utilitarian social planner with all the ex interim private information.