An experimental study of collective deliberation

Jacob K. Goeree, Leeat Yariv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


We study the effects of deliberation on collective decisions. In a series of experiments, we vary groups' preference distributions (between common and conflicting interests) and the institutions by which decisions are reached (simple majority, two-thirds majority, and unanimity). Without deliberation, different institutions generate significantly different outcomes, tracking the theoretical comparative statics. Deliberation, however, significantly diminishes institutional differences and uniformly improves efficiency. Furthermore, communication protocols exhibit an array of stable attributes: messages are public, consistently reveal private information, provide a good predictor for ultimate group choices, and follow particular (endogenous) sequencing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-921
Number of pages29
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Deliberative voting
  • Jury decision-making
  • Strategic voting


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