David Austen-Smith is the Peter G. Peterson Professor of Corporate Ethics, and Professor of Political Science and Economics.
Abstract of his communication: “In this talk, I provide some context for what I am up to in general, with a brief and informal review of some early work (with Tim Feddersen) on deliberation in committees that have to make a decision under uncertainty. The key characteristic of the committee is that individual members have state-contingent preferences but incomplete information regarding others members’ information about the true state. They can, however, debate the alternatives prior to voting for an available alternative. The relevant literature here typically assumes a given binary agenda, an assumption motivating (albeit, definitely not resolving) some recent work (with Cesar Martinelli) on searching for a good alternative. The important assumption in this setting is that the value of any available alternative can only be known after search stops with the alternative being irreversibly chosen.”