Time-consistent Majority Rules And Heterogenous Preferences In Group Decision-making

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This paper studies a collective decision problem in which a group of individuals with interdependent preferences vote whether or not to implement a public project of unknown value. A utilitarian social planner aggregates these votes according to a majority rule; but, unlike what is commonly assumed in the literature, the planner is unable to commit to the rule before votes are cast. Characterizing the time-consistent majority rules, the authors find that the ex ante optimal majority rule is time-consistent; but for groups whose members have sufficiently homogenous preferences, there is an ex ante suboptimal rule that is also time-consistent.