DP17336 Public versus Secret Voting in Committees
We study the effect of transparency of individual votes in committees where members are heterogeneous in competence and bias, they are career-concerned, and they can abstain. We show that public voting attenuates the biases of competent members and secret voting attenuates the biases of incompetent members. Public voting leads to better decisions when the magnitude of the bias is large, while secret voting performs better otherwise. We present novel experimental evidence consistent with our theory.