Deliberative groups and their decisions : an application to state revenue estimation practices

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2018-05

Authors

Jones, Andrias Rebecca

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Abstract

States use a variety of methods to forecast revenue estimates, from executive branch agencies to consensus groups incorporating representatives from multiple branches of government. Findings from the behavioral economics literature suggest that deliberative groups systematically produce relatively biased and inaccurate outputs. The literature also describes characteristics of deliberative groups most likely to perform best, finding that small groups and majoritarian groups perform better at estimative tasks requiring high levels of accuracy. This paper applies these predictions in a revenue estimation context, comparing between consensus and non-consensus states and within consensus states. Findings confirm hypotheses drawn from the behavioral economics literature: consensus groups performed less accurately on average than non-consensus groups; unanimous groups generated less accurate forecasts than groups operating under majoritarian rules; and small consensus groups produced more accurate forecasts than big consensus groups

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