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An Experimental Study of Storable Votes

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  • Casella, Alessandra
  • Gelman, Andrew
  • Palfrey, Thomas R

Abstract

The storable votes mechanism is a method of voting for committees that meet periodically to consider a series of binary decisions. Each member is allocated a fixed budget of votes to be cast as desired over the multiple decisions. Voters are induced to spend more votes on those decisions that matter to them most, shifting the ex ante probability of winning away from decisions they value less and towards decisions they value more, typically generating welfare gains over standard majority voting with non-storable votes. The equilibrium strategies have a very intuitive feature – the number of votes cast must be monotonic in the voter’s intensity of preferences – but are otherwise difficult to calculate, raising questions of practical implementation. In our experiments, realized efficiency levels were remarkably close to theoretical equilibrium predictions, while subjects adopted monotonic but off-equilibrium strategies. We are lead to conclude that concerns about the complexity of the game may have limited practical relevance.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4081.

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Date of creation: Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4081

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Keywords: committees; experiments; storable votes; voting systems;

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  1. Alessandra Casella & Thomas Palfrey & Raymond Riezman, 2006. "Minorities and Storable Votes," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000199, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Casella, Alessandra & Gelman, Andrew & Palfrey, Thomas R, 2003. "An Experimental Study of Storable Votes," CEPR Discussion Papers 4081, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Richard D. Mckelvey & Thomas R. Palfrey, 1996. "A Statistical Theory Of Equilibrium In Games," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 186-209, 06.
  4. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  5. 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.
  6. Martin Osborne & Jeffry Rosenthal & Matthew A. Turner, 1998. "Meetings with costly participation," Working Papers mturner-98-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  7. d'Aspremont, Claude & Cremer, Jacques & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1990. "Incentives and the existence of Pareto-optimal revelation mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 233-254, August.
  8. Alessandra Casella, 2002. "Storable votes," Discussion Papers 0102-71, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  9. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
  10. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000232, David K. Levine.
  11. Mueller, Dennis C., 1978. "Voting by veto," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 57-75, August.
  12. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
  13. McKelvey, Richard D. & Palfrey, Thomas R. & Weber, Roberto A., 2000. "The effects of payoff magnitude and heterogeneity on behavior in 2 x 2 games with unique mixed strategy equilibria," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 523-548, August.
  14. 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.
  15. Moulin, H, 1982. "Voting with Proportional Veto Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 145-62, January.
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