Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Choosing Voting Systems behind the Veil of Ignorance: A Two-Tier Voting Experiment

Contents:

Author Info

  • Matthias Weber

    (CREED, University of Amsterdam)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    There are many situations in which different groups make collective decisions by committee voting, with each group represented by a single person. A natural question is what voting system such a committee should use. Concepts based on voting power provide guidelines for this choice. The two most prominent concepts require the Banzhaf power index to be proportional to the square root of group size or the Shapley-Shubik power index to be proportional to group size. Instead of studying the choice of voting systems based on such theoretical concepts, in this paper, I ask which systems individuals actually prefer. To answer this question, I design a laboratory experiment in which participants choose voting systems. I find that people behind the veil of ignorance prefer voting systems following the rule of proportional Shapley-Shubik power; in front of the veil subjects pr efer voting systems benefiting their own group. Participants' choices can only partially be explained by utility maximization or other outcome based concepts.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/14042.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 14-042/I.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 01 Apr 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20140042

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

    Related research

    Keywords: assembly voting; EU council; Penrose's Square Root Rule; optimal voting rule;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Salvador Barberà & Matthew O. Jackson, 2003. "On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogeneous Union," Working Papers 220, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. Maria Montero & Martin Sefton & Ping Zhang, 2008. "Enlargement and the balance of power: an experimental study," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 69-87, January.
    3. Le Breton, Michel & Montero, Maria & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2012. "Voting power in the EU council of ministers and fair decision making in distributive politics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 159-173.
    4. Drouvelis, Michalis & Montero, Maria & Sefton, Martin, 2010. "Gaining power through enlargement: Strategic foundations and experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 274-292, July.
    5. Laruelle, Annick & Valenciano, Federico, 2002. "Inequality among EU citizens in the EU's Council decision procedure," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 475-498, September.
    6. Laruelle, Annick & Widgren, Mika, 1996. "Is the allocation of voting power among EU states fair?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1996022, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    7. Falk, Armin & Heckman, James J., 2009. "Lab Experiments Are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences," IZA Discussion Papers 4540, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Felsenthal, Dan S. & Machover, Moshe, 1999. "Minimizing the mean majority deficit: The second square-root rule," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 25-37, January.
    9. František Turnovec, 2009. "Fairness and Squareness: Fair Decision Making Rules in the EU Council?," Working Papers IES 2009/01, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jan 2009.
    10. Eric Guerci & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Naoki Watanabe & Gabriele Esposito & Xiaoyan Lu, 2011. "A Note on a Weighted Voting Experiment: Human Mistakes in Cooperative Games," Working Papers halshs-00645867, HAL.
    11. Annick Laruelle & Federico Valenciano, 2005. "Assessing success and decisiveness in voting situations," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 171-197, January.
    12. Yukio Koriyama & Jean-Fran�ois Laslier & Antonin Mac� & Rafael Treibich, 2013. "Optimal Apportionment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(3), pages 584 - 608.
    13. Serguei Kaniovski, 2008. "The exact bias of the Banzhaf measure of power when votes are neither equiprobable nor independent," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 281-300, August.
    14. Annick Laruelle & Federico Valenciano, 2010. "Egalitarianism and utilitarianism in committees of representatives," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 221-243, July.
    15. Stefan Napel & Mika Widgrén, 2006. "The Inter-Institutional Distribution of Power in EU Codecision," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 129-154, August.
    16. Dan S Felsenthal & Moshé Machover, 2004. "Analysis of QM rules in the draft constitution for Europe proposed by the European Convention, 2003," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 1-20, 08.
    17. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst, 2003. "Why labour market experiments?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 399-406, August.
    18. Baldwin, Richard & Widgrén, Mika, 2004. "Winners and Losers Under Various Dual Majority Rules for the EU Council of Ministers," CEPR Discussion Papers 4450, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Moshé Machover & Dan S. Felsenthal, 2001. "The Treaty of Nice and qualified majority voting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 431-464.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20140042. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Antoine Maartens (+31 626 - 160 892)).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.