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Voting by Ballots and Feet in the Laboratory

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  • Alessandro Innocenti
  • Chiara Rapallini

    ()
    (University of Siena and LabSi
    University of Florence)

Abstract

This paper provides laboratory evidence on the efficiency-enhancing properties of the Tiebout model as a decentralized system of public goods provision. Tiebout (1956) shows that if a sufficient number of local communities exist to accommodate different types of preferences, individuals sort themselves in a way that provides an efficient allocation of public goods and taxes. Our experiment aims to disentangle the effect of voting participation from other factors and is composed of two treatments. In the non-participation treatment, local public good provision is chosen by only one subject, while other members of the community can only stay in or move to another community. In the participation treatment, all the community members have the right to vote as well as to move to another community and collective decisions are taken by majority rule. Our findings show that social welfare is greater in the participation than in the non-participation treatment. We conclude that voting with one?s feet increases efficiency if all the community members vote and that the influence of voting participation on the allocation of local public goods should be taken into account to assess the viability of the Tiebout model.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University in its journal Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 3-24

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Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v70_n1_p3-24

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Related research

Keywords: Tiebout model; local public goods; voting participation; federalism; experiment;

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Citations

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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Feet vs. ballots in local policy choices
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-02-28 15:54:00
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Cited by:
  1. Jeffrey V. Butler & Enrica Carbone & Pierluigi Conzo & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2012. "Reputation and Entry," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 045, University of Siena.
  2. Valeria Faralla & Alessandro Innocenti & Stefano Taddei & Eva Venturini, 2013. "Physiological Responses to Stressful Work Situations in Low-Immersive Virtual Environments," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 047, University of Siena.
  3. Enrica Carbone & Gerardo Infante, 2012. "Are Groups Better Planners Than Individuals? An Experimental Analysis," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 042, University of Siena.
  4. Valeria Faralla & Alessandro Innocenti & Eva Venturini, 2013. "Risk Taking and Social Exposure," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 046, University of Siena.
  5. Alessandro Innocenti & Francesca Lorini & Chiara Rapallini, 2014. "Ethnic Heterogeneity, Voting Partecipation and Local Economic Growth. The Case of Belgium," Working Papers - Economics wp2014_03.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.

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