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Information aggregation and optimal structure of the executive

Dewan, Torun, Galeotti, Andrea, Ghiglino, Christian and Squintani, Francesco (2015) Information aggregation and optimal structure of the executive. American Journal of Political Science, 59 (2). 475 - 494. ISSN 0092-5853

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Identification Number: 10.1111/ajps.12121


We model two aspects of executives in parliamentary democracies: Decision-making authority is assigned to individuals, and private information is aggregated through communication. When information is relevant to all policies and communication is private, all decisions should be centralized to a single politician. A government that holds cabinet meetings, where information is made available to all decision makers, outperforms one where communication is private: A multimember cabinet can be optimal; it need not be single peaked around the most moderate politician or ideologically connected. Centralization is nonmonotonic in the degree of ideological divergence. In a large cabinet, all power should be given to the most moderate politician. Even when uncertainty is policy specific and a single politician is informed on each policy, power should never be fully decentralized. Our model provides a justification for centralized authority and cabinet meetings that enhance the quality of policy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Midwest Political Science Association
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2014 10:37
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2024 03:33
Projects: ERC-starting grant (award no. 283454)
Funders: European Research Council, The Leverhulme Trust, Philip Leverhulme Prize

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