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Choosing How Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules

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  • Jackson, Matthew O.
  • Barbera, Salvador

Abstract

We consider the endogenous choice of a voting rule, characterized by the majority size needed to elect change over the status quo, by a society who will use the rule to make future decisions. Under simple assumptions on the uncertainty concerning the future alternatives that will be voted upon, voters' have induced preferences over voting rules that are single-peaked and intermediate. We explore the existence of self-stable voting rules, i.e., voting rules such that there is no alternative rule that would beat the given voting rule if the given voting rule is used to choose between the rules. There are situations where self-stable voting rules do not exist. We explore conditions that guarantee existence, as well as issues relating to efficiency and constitutional design.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences in its series Working Papers with number 1145.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
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Publication status: Published: Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2004, V 119, #3, pp 1011-48
Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1145

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Postal: Working Paper Assistant, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 228-77, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125
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  1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
  2. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Convicting the Innocent: The Inferiority of Unanimous Jury Verdicts," Discussion Papers 1170, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 565-611, May.
  4. Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004. "Voting on Majority Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132.
  5. Torsten Persson, 2001. "Do Political Institutions Shape Economic Policy?," NBER Working Papers 8214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
  7. Danilo Coelho, 2005. "Maximin choice of voting rules for committees," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 159-175, 07.
  8. Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
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