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Minorities and Storable Votes

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  • Alessandra Casella
  • Thomas Palfrey
  • Raymond Riezman

Abstract

The paper studies a simple voting system that has the potential to increase the power of minorities without sacrificing aggregate efficiency. Storable votes grant each voter a stock of votes to spend as desired over a series of binary decisions. By accumulating votes on issues that it deems most important, the minority can win occasionally. But because the majority typically can outvote it, the minority wins only if its strength of preference is high and the majority’s strength of preference is low. The result is that with storable votes, aggregate efficiency either falls little or in fact rises. The theoretical predictions of our model are confirmed by a series of experiments: the frequency of minority victories, the relative payoff of the minority versus the majority, and the aggregate payoffs all match the theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 321307000000000199.

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Date of creation: 15 Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:321307000000000199

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  1. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2007. "Qualitative Voting," Economics Series Working Papers 320, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Paul Milgrom & Robert Weber, 1981. "Distributional Strategies for Games with Incomplete Information," Discussion Papers 428R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Casella, Alessandra & Gelman, Andrew & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2003. "An Experimental Study of Storable Votes," Working Papers 1173, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Casella, Alessandra, 2005. "Storable votes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 391-419, May.
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