American Journal of Political Science

In recent years, both scholars and journalists have heralded the benefits that derive from large, diverse groups when it comes to making better informed, and hence, more accurate decisions. This logic is perhaps best exemplified by a pair of terrific books on this topic by James Surowiecki’s New York Times Business Bestseller The Wisdom of Crowds and Scott Page’s The Difference. To summarize, the basic logic presumes that larger, more diverse groups can yield superior sharing of both expertise and information sharing, while being insulated from capture by any single faction.

 

In our recent AJPS article “Organizational Structure and the Optimal Design of Policymaking Panels: Evidence from Consensus Group Commissions’ Revenue Forecasts in the American States”, Jim Douglas and I claim that collective decisions made by policymaking panels involve an inherent tradeoff between panel size and panel diversity.  This is a critical issue to scholars and…

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