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One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation

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  • Bouton, Laurent
  • Castanheira, Micael

Abstract

This paper compares the properties of three electoral systems when voters have imperfect information. Imperfect information blurs voter decisions and may divorce the electoral outcome from the true preferences of the electorate. The challenge for electoral design is therefore to translate the (sometimes contradictory) elements of information dispersed in the electorate into the most efficient aggregate outcome. We propose a novel model of multi-candidate elections in Poisson games, and show that Approval Voting produces a unique equilibrium that is fully efficient: the candidate who wins the election is the one preferred by a majority of the electorate under full information. By contrast, traditional systems such as Plurality and Runoff elections cannot cope satisfactorily with information imperfections.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6695.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6695

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Keywords: Approval Voting; Information Aggregation; Multicandidate Elections; Poisson Games;

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References

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  1. GOERTZ, Johanna M. & MANIQUET, François, 2009. "On the informational efficiency of simple scoring rules," CORE Discussion Papers 2009026, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  3. Cesar Martinelli, 2000. "Simple Plurality versus Plurality Runoff with Privately Informed Voters," Working Papers 0004, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  4. Myerson, Roger B., 2002. "Comparison of Scoring Rules in Poisson Voting Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 219-251, March.
  5. Micael Castanheira, 2003. "Why Vote For Losers?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1207-1238, 09.
  6. Laurent Bouton, 2013. "A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1248-88, June.
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  8. Steven Brams & Peter Fishburn, 2005. "Going from theory to practice: the mixed success of approval voting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 457-474, December.
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  16. Martin J. Osborne & Matthew A. Turner, 2010. "Cost Benefit Analyses versus Referenda," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 156-187, 02.
  17. Matias Nuñez, 2010. "Condorcet Consistency of Approval Voting: a Counter Example in Large Poisson Games," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 22(1), pages 64-84, January.
  18. Myerson, Roger B., 1998. "Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 111-131, October.
  19. Sourav Bhattacharya, 2013. "Preference Monotonicity and Information Aggregation in Elections," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(3), pages 1229-1247, 05.
  20. Kim, Jaehoon & Fey, Mark, 2007. "The swing voter's curse with adversarial preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 236-252, July.
  21. David S. Ahny & Santiago Oliveros, 2013. "Approval Voting and Scoring Rules with Common Values," Economics Discussion Papers 732, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  22. Francesco Sinopoli & Bhaskar Dutta & Jean-François Laslier, 2006. "Approval voting: three examples," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 27-38, December.
  23. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Voting as Communicating," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 169-91, January.
  24. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira De Moura, 2009. "The Condorcet-Duverger Trade-Off: swing voters and voting equilibria," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/159859, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  25. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira De Moura & A. Llorente-Saguer, 2012. "Divided Majority and Information Aggregation: Theory and Experiment," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/136800, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Matias Nunez & Jean-Francois Laslier, 2013. "Preference Intensity Representation : Strategic Overstating in Large Elections," Post-Print hal-00917099, HAL.
  3. Sebastien Courtin & Matias Nunez, 2013. "Dominance Solvable Approval Voting Games," Working Papers hal-00914890, HAL.
  4. MANIQUET, François & MORELLI, Massimo & ,, 2013. "Approval quorums dominate participation quorums," CORE Discussion Papers 2013054, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Matías Núñez, 2014. "The strategic sincerity of Approval voting," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 157-189, May.
  6. Francesco De Sinopoli & Claudia Meroni & Carlos Pimienta, 2014. "Strategic Stability in Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 2014-09, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  7. Bouton, Laurent & Gratton, Gabriele, 0. "Majority runoff elections: strategic voting and Duverger's hypothesis," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society.
  8. GOERTZ, Johanna & MANIQUET, François, 2013. "Large elections with multiple alternatives: a Condorcet Jury Theorem and inefficient equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers 2013023, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Laurent Bouton, 2012. "A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2012-001, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  10. Martin Gregor, 2013. "The Optimal Ballot Structure for Double-Member Districts," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp493, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  11. Sébastien Courtin & Matias Nunez, 2013. "A Map of Approval Voting Equilibria Outcomes," THEMA Working Papers 2013-31, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  12. David S. Ahny & Santiago Oliveros, 2013. "Approval Voting and Scoring Rules with Common Values," Economics Discussion Papers 732, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  13. Laurent Bouton & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Fr�d�ric Malherbe, 2014. "Get Rid of Unanimity: The Superiority of Majority Rule with Veto Power," Working Papers 722, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.

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