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Designing online deliberation, Ronny Razin by Mind Map: Designing online deliberation, Ronny Razin
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Designing online deliberation, Ronny Razin


researcher in London School of Economics


What can we learn from mechanism design & auction theory


deliberation in large-groups

what's the problem?, congestion, participation, small number of leading dominant people, this is a problem, aggregation of preferences, the solution should aggregate the preferences of most participants, better decision aggregates the preferences of more people, Information aggregation/crowd sourcing

what's the benefit, encourage more people to participate & be involved

understand, Small vs large, Offline vs online, Voting/deliberating, Decentralized vs centralized

mechanism design

Economy has tools & methodology to talk about these things, Game theory, a tool to understand behavior, make predictions

Mechanism design is building the game that yields the best solutions


Explain mechanism design

Examples that relate to online deliberation

Intuitive & simple solutions, vote budgets, storable votes, creating endogenous trade-offs to internalize externalities, make peopl understand the trade-offs

Mechanism design


The settings, set of players, outcomes

What do the players want to achieve

The solution, A mechanism/game for which the predicted outcome is the optimal solution

A social wellfare function

Examples of successful designs

Auction theory & practice, eg, Cellular frequencies, B2B auctions, Electricity markets

Market design, School admissions, Market for organs

Applied to online deliberation

The settings

We the ppl, need to decide what to do

What we want from this

Information aggregagion

Preferences aggregation





Find the optimal design for online platform


Many decisions - room for coordination

problem, each participant cares differently about different decisions, preferences, what do we want to happen?, how to aggregate preferences, see diagrams in slides, small groups will probably get there, simple voting won't get the result we think aggregat preferences right, doesn't aggregate how much people care for the issues

Solution mechanism: vote budget, each participant gets a pool of ballots, some will put just 1 ballot, others that care more will put more

Decisions over time (repeating)

we make similar decisions over time

Solution: storable votes, Each individual is allocated stock of votes, in each period, Save the votes for later periods, Ppl will use more votes in periods in which the care more, Can trade votes between them


Problem, too many ppl talk, Too much information, Discussion not clear

Issues at stake, Information aggregation, Allocation of roles

Solution, Moderation, Centralized moderation, Decentralized moderation?, Give cost to participation & create trade-off, the more you talk, the less you can vote, Someone that thinks he has a good idea, spends all of his tokens on expressing it, has ability to influence, Someone else, not sure, doesn't express but has tokens to vote


See slide for research pointers