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Minorities and storable votes

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Author Info

  • Alessandra Casella

    ()
    (Columbia University - Department of Economics)

  • Thomas Palfrey

    ()
    (California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences)

  • Raymond Riezman

    ()
    (University of Iowa - Department of Economics)

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 Columbia University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 0506-02.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clu:wpaper:0506-02

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  1. Alessandra Casella & Andrew Gelman & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2003. "An experimental study of storable votes," Discussion Papers 0304-01, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Alessandra Casella, 2002. "Storable votes," Discussion Papers 0102-71, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  3. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2012. "Qualitative voting," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(4), pages 526-554, October.
  4. 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.
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