Template-Type: ReDIF-Paper 1.0 Series: Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers Creation-Date: 2007-07-17 Number: 07-055/1 Author-Name: Otto H. Swank Author-Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Author-Workplace-Name: Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam Author-Name: Bauke Visser Author-Email: email@example.com Author-Workplace-Name: Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam Title: Is Transparency to no avail? Committee Decision-making, Pre-meetings, and Credible Deals Abstract: This discussion paper led to a publication in The Scandinavian Journal of Economics.
Transparent decision-making processes are widely regarded as a prerequisite for the working of a representative democracy. It facilitates accountability, and citizens may suspect that decisions, if taken behind closed doors, do not promote their interests. Why else the secrecy? We provide a model of committee decision-making that explains the publicís demand for transparency, and committee membersí aversion to it. In line with case study evidence, we show how pressures to become transparent induce committee members to organize pre-meetings away from the public eye. Outcomes of pre-meetings are less determined, more anarchic, than those of formal meetings, but within bounds. We characterize feasible deals that are credible and will be endorsed in the formal meeting. Classification-JEL: D71; D72; D82 Keywords: Committee decision-making; reputational concerns; transparency; pre-meetings; deliberation File-Url: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/07055.pdf File-Format: application/pdf File-Size: 259454 bytes Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20070055