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Storable Votes

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  • Casella, Alessandra

Abstract

Motivated by the need for more flexible decision-making mechanisms in the European Union, the paper proposes a simple but novel voting scheme for binary decisions taken by committees that meet regularly over time. At each meeting, committee members are allowed to store their vote for future use; the decision is then taken according to the majority of votes cast. The possibility of shifting votes intertemporally allows agents to concentrate their votes when preferences are more intense, and although the scheme will not in general achieve full efficiency, making votes storable typically leads to ex ante welfare gains. The analysis in the paper suggests that the result will hold if one of the following conditions is satisfied: (i) the number of voters is above a minimum threshold; (ii) preferences are not too polarized; (iii) the horizon is long enough.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3508.

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Date of creation: Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3508

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Keywords: committees; European Union; voting;

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References

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  1. Philipson, Tomas J & Snyder, James M, Jr, 1996. " Equilibrium and Efficiency in an Organized Vote Market," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(3-4), pages 245-65, December.
  2. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
  3. d'Aspremont, Claude & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1979. "Incentives and incomplete information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 25-45, February.
  4. Mueller, Dennis C., 1978. "Voting by veto," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 57-75, August.
  5. Jeffrey S. Rosenthal & Martin J. Osborne & Matthew A. Turner, 2000. "Meetings with Costly Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 927-943, September.
  6. Piketty, Thomas, 1999. "The information-aggregation approach to political institutions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 791-800, April.
  7. Casella, Alessandra, 2002. "Storable Votes," CEPR Discussion Papers 3508, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
  9. Dixit, Avinash K & Grossman, Gene & Gul, Faruk, 1998. "A Theory of Political Compromise," CEPR Discussion Papers 1935, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Casella, Alessandra & Gelman, Andrew & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2006. "An experimental study of storable votes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 123-154, October.
  11. Townsend, Robert M, 1982. "Optimal Multiperiod Contracts and the Gain from Enduring Relationships under Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1166-86, December.
  12. Moulin, H, 1982. "Voting with Proportional Veto Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 145-62, January.
  13. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," Working papers 99-17, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Atkeson, Andrew & Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1992. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 427-53, July.
  15. Phelan, C. & Townsend, R.M., 1990. "Computing Multiperiod, Information-Constrained Optima," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-13, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  16. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
  17. Moulin, Herve, 1979. "Dominance Solvable Voting Schemes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1137-51, November.
  18. Ledyard, John O. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "The approximation of efficient public good mechanisms by simple voting schemes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 153-171, February.
  19. 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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