Public versus Secret Voting in Committees
we study the effect of transparency on voting in committees when members are heterogeneous in competence and bias, they are career-concerned and they can abstain. We show that public voting attenuates the biases of competent members and secret voting attenuates the biases of incompetent members. Public voting leads to better decisions when the magnitude of the bias is large, while secret voting performs better otherwise. We discuss evidence from the lab and from the field that is consistent with our theory.
(joint with Marcos Nakaguma)