Costly verification in collective decisions

Albin Erlanson, Andreas Kleiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We study how a principal should optimally choose between implementing a new policy and maintaining the status quo when information relevant for the decision is privately held by agents. Agents are strategic in revealing their information; the principal cannot use monetary transfers to elicit this information, but can verify an agent's claim at a cost. We characterize the mechanism that maximizes the expected utility of the principal. This mechanism can be implemented as a cardinal voting rule, in which agents can either cast a baseline vote, indicating only whether they are in favor of the new policy, or make specific claims about their type. The principal gives more weight to specific claims and verifies a claim whenever it is decisive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-954
Number of pages32
JournalTheoretical Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Collective decision
  • D71
  • D82
  • costly verification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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