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A Model of Agenda Influence on Committee Decisions

Plott, Charles R. and Levine, Michael E. (1978) A Model of Agenda Influence on Committee Decisions. American Economic Review, 68 (1). pp. 146-160. ISSN 0002-8282.

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Within a range of circumstances it appears to be possible to control a group's decision by controlling only the agenda. The boundaries of the range over which the agenda is such an overwhelmingly important parameter are not yet known, and the exact principles upon which the influence rests have not been identified. However, the research results reported below provide a first step in answering these questions. Our approach to this problem originated in both practical and theoretical considerations. As a practical matter, we were involved in an important and complex committee decision. A large flying club in which we held membership was meeting to vote upon the size and composition of the aircraft fleet which would be available to the membership for flying. As members we had preferences about the fleet available to us and an opportunity to shape the agenda. Preliminary discussions and meetings had narrowed the range of possibilities greatly from hundreds of thousands of competing alternatives to a few hundred. Over these remaining possibilities, however, there were conflicting and strongly held opinions. The group was to meet once and decide the issue by majority vote.

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Additional Information:© 1978 American Economic Association. The research support provided by the National Science Foundation and the Henry Luce Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
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Henry Luce FoundationUNSPECIFIED
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Social Science Working Paper143
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Official Citation:A Model of Agenda Influence on Committee Decisions Charles R. Plott and Michael E. Levine The American Economic Review , Vol. 68, No. 1 (Mar., 1978) , pp. 146-160 Published by: American Economic Association Article Stable URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43100
Deposited On:20 Dec 2013 15:49
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:04

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