Committees and Distortionary Vagueness
(with Colin Krainin) (Last updated September 2017)
We study a model of a generalized committee, for example a legislature or legislative subcommittee, bargaining over how precisely to transmit information to the mass public. In our model, biased committee members have an incentive to distort the public's behavior by making vague communications. We demonstrate two principal results. First, delegating decision making to a committee with an agenda-setting chair frequently reduces vagueness relative to delegating to an individual or a committee with no agenda setter. Second, when the committee chair and the median committee member are biased in opposing directions on an issue, more precise information is provided than when the chair and committee are of like bias.