Quotation Ambrus, Attila and Greiner, Ben and Pathak, Parag. 2015. How individual preferences are aggregated in groups: An experimental study. Journal of Public Economics 129 S. 1-13.




This paper experimentally investigates how individual preferences, through unrestricted deliberation, are aggregated into a group decision in two contexts: reciprocating gifts and choosing between lotteries. In both contexts, we find that median group members have a significant impact on the group decision, but the median is not the only influential group member. Non-median members closer to the median tend to have more influence than other members. By investigating the same individual's influence in different groups, we find evidence for relative position in the group having a direct effect on influence. These results are consistent with predictions from spatial models of dynamic bargaining, for members with intermediate levels of patience. We also find that group deliberation involves bargaining and compromise as well as persuasion: preferences tend to shift towards the choice of the individual's previous group, especially for those with extreme individual preferences.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Journal of Public Economics
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new FIN-A, INF-A, MAN-A, STRAT-A, VW-A, WH-A
Language English
Title How individual preferences are aggregated in groups: An experimental study
Volume 129
Year 2015
Page from 1
Page to 13
Reviewed? Y
URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2015.05.008
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2015.05.008
JEL C72; C92; H41


Greiner, Ben (Details)
Ambrus, Attila (Duke University, United States/USA)
Pathak, Parag (MIT, United States/USA)
Department of Strategy and Innovation DP (Details)
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