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The (sub-)optimality of the majority rule

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  • Schmitz, Patrick W.
  • Tröger, Thomas

Abstract

We consider collective choice from two alternatives. Ex-ante, each agent is uncertain about which alternative she prefers, and may be uncertain about the intensity of her preferences. An environment is given by a probability distribution over utility vectors that is symmetric across agents and neutral across alternatives. In many environments, the majority voting rule maximizes agentsʼ ex-ante expected utilities among all anonymous and dominant-strategy implementable choice rules. But in some environments where the agentsʼ utilities are stochastically correlated, other dominant-strategy choice rules are better for all agents. If utilities are stochastically independent across agents, majority voting is ex-ante optimal among all anonymous and incentive-compatible rules. We also compare rules from an interim-viewpoint.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 74 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 651-665

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:74:y:2012:i:2:p:651-665

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

Related research

Keywords: Majority rule; Mechanism design; Correlated values; Utilitarianism;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2007. "Qualitative Voting," Economics Series Working Papers 320, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Pivato, Marcus, 2013. "Statistical utilitarianism," MPRA Paper 49561, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Börgers, Tilman & Hernando-Veciana, Angel & Krähmer, Daniel, 2013. "When are signals complements or substitutes?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(1), pages 165-195.
  4. Giles, Adam & Postl, Peter, 2014. "Equilibrium and effectiveness of two-parameter scoring rules," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 31-52.
  5. Alex Gershkov & Benny Moldovanu & Xianwen Shi, 2013. "Optimal Mechanism Design without Money," Working Papers tecipa-481, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  6. Kleiner, Andreas & Drexl, Moritz, 2013. "Why Voting? A Welfare Analysis," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79886, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  7. Börgers, Tilman & Smith, Doug, 2014. "Robust mechanism design and dominant strategy voting rules," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), May.
  8. Engelmann, Dirk & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2013. "Tailored Bayesian Mechanisms: Experimental Evidence from Two-Stage Voting Games," CEPR Discussion Papers 9544, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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