Here is the abstract of a paper by Christian Roessler and Sandro Shelegia:

In Rome, if you start digging, chances are you’ll find things. We consider a famous complaint that justifies the underdeveloped Roman metro system: “if we tried to build a new metro line, it would probably be stopped by archeological finds that are too valuable to destroy, so we would have wasted the money.” Although this statement appears to be self-contradictory, we show that it can be rationalized in a voting model with diverse constituents. Even when there is a majority preference for a metro line, and discovery of an antiquity has the character of a positive option, a majority may oppose construction. We give sufficient conditions for this inefficiency to occur. One might think it arises from the inability to commit to finishing the metro (no matter what is discovered in the process). We show, however, that the inefficient choice is made in voting over immediate actions precisely when there is no Condorcet winner in voting over contingent plans with commitment. Hence, surprisingly, commitment cannot really solve the problem.

The problem is how to build a majority coalition in favor of digging.  There’s no problem when the probability of an antiquity is low because then everyone who favors the Metro but not the antiquity will be on board.  When the probability of an antiquity is high there is again no problem but now because you have the support of those who are hoping to find one.  Rome’s problem is that the probability of an antiquity is neither low enough nor high enough.

I think this says something about flyouts in Junior Recruiting, and in turn it says something about how candidates should market themselves.

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