Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/86581
Authors: 
Swank, Otto H.
Visser, Bauke
Year of Publication: 
2007
Series/Report no.: 
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 07-055/1
Abstract: 
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 public’s demand for transparency, and committee members’ 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.
Subjects: 
Committee decision-making
reputational concerns
transparency
pre-meetings
deliberation
JEL: 
D71
D72
D82
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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