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Majority voting with stochastic preferences: the whims of a committee are smaller than the whims of its members

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  • Pierre-Guillaume Méon

Abstract

This note studies the volatility of the policy chosen by a committee whose members’ preferences are volatile, due to common and individual preferences shocks. It is shown that majority voting mitigates the latter but not the former. The volatility of the policy is smaller the smaller the volatility of members’ preferences, smaller the larger the size of the committee, and smaller than if it was chosen by a single member. The results hold in a context of uncertainty and with multidimensional issues.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/8434/1/pgm-0041.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series DULBEA Working Papers with number 06-05.RS.

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Length: 12 p.
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by: DULBEA - Université libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles
Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:06-05rs

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Keywords: committee; majority voting; uncertainty; volatility;

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  1. Schofield, N. & Tovey, C.A., 1992. "Probability and Convergence for Supramajority rule with Euclidean Preferences," Papers 163, Washington St. Louis - School of Business and Political Economy.
  2. Davis, Otto A & DeGroot, Morris H & Hinich, Melvin J, 1972. "Social Preference Orderings and Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(1), pages 147-57, January.
  3. Greenberg, Joseph, 1979. "Consistent Majority Rules over Compact Sets of Alternatives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 627-36, May.
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  5. Caplin, A. & Nalebuff, B., 1989. "Aggregation And Social Choice: A Mean Voter Theorem," Discussion Papers 1989_31, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  6. Matsen, Egil & Roisland, Oistein, 2005. "Interest rate decisions in an asymmetric monetary union," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 365-384, June.
  7. McKelvey, Richard D, 1979. "General Conditions for Global Intransitivities in Formal Voting Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1085-1112, September.
  8. Schofield, Norman, 2002. "Representative democracy as social choice," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 425-455 Elsevier.
  9. McKelvey, R. D. & Schofield, N., 1984. "Structural Instability of the Core," Working Papers 535, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  10. Schofield, Norman, 1978. "Instability of Simple Dynamic Games," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 575-94, October.
  11. Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
  12. McKelvey, Richard D., 1976. "Intransitivities in multidimensional voting models and some implications for agenda control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 472-482, June.
  13. Slutsky, Steven, 1977. "A voting model for the allocation of public goods: Existence of an equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 299-325, April.
  14. Schofield, Norman, 1977. "Transitivity of preferences on a smooth manifold of alternatives," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 149-171, February.
  15. Sapir, Andre & Sekkat, Khalid, 1999. "Optimum electoral areas: Should Europe adopt a single election day?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1595-1619, August.
  16. Banks, Jeffrey S., 1995. "Singularity theory and core existence in the spatial model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 523-536.
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Cited by:
  1. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker & Lybek, Tonny, 2008. "Central bank boards around the world: Why does membership size differ?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 817-832, December.
  2. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Ariane Szafarz, 2008. "Labor market discrimination as an agency cost," DULBEA Working Papers 08-19.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Oscar Bernal Diaz & Kim Oosterlinck & Ariane Szafarz, 2008. "Observing bailout expectations during a total eclipse of the sun," Working Papers CEB 08-015.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Charles Plaigin, 2009. "Exploratory study on the presence of cultural and institutional growth spillovers," DULBEA Working Papers 09-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Farvaque, Etienne & Matsueda, Norimichi & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume, 2009. "How monetary policy committees impact the volatility of policy rates," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 534-546, December.
  6. Helge Berger & Tonny Lybek & Volker Nitsch, 2006. "Central Bank Boards Around the World," IMF Working Papers 06/281, International Monetary Fund.

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