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IDSS Distinguished Seminar Series

Collective Decision Making: Theory and Experiments

February 5, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Leeat Yariv (Princeton University)


Ranging from jury decisions to political elections, situations in which groups of individuals determine a collective outcome are ubiquitous. There are two important observations that pertain to almost all collective processes observed in reality. First, decisions are commonly preceded by some form of communication among individual decision makers, such as jury deliberations, or election polls. Second, even when looking at a particular context, say U.S. civil jurisdiction, there is great variance in the type of institutions that are employed to aggregate private information or preferences into group decisions. In this talk, I will present some theoretical models and experimental results that provide insight into how groups aggregate information and opinions, and the sorts of instruments that might be beneficial for improving collective outcomes in various settings.

About the speaker:
Leeat Yariv is the Uwe E. Reinhardt Professor of Economics at Princeton University. She is also the director of the Princeton Experimental Laboratory for the Social Sciences (PExL), which provides a platform for experimental research in the social sciences. Yariv’s research combines experimental and empirical evidence together with economic theory to study how individuals connect with one another and how they make decisions together. Her research has touched upon a wide range of topics within the areas of social networks, political economy, and market design. Yariv received a B.Sc. in Mathematics, a B.Sc. in Physics, and an M.Sc. in Mathematics from Tel-Aviv University. She received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. Prior to joining Princeton University, she was a professor at UCLA and Caltech. Yariv is a fellow of the Econometric Society and of the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory. She has served on multiple journal editorial boards, including those of Econometrica, American Economic Review, and Journal of Economic Literature.

MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307