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Minorities and Storable Votes

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  • Casella, Alessandra
  • Palfrey, Thomas
  • Riezman, Raymond

Abstract

The paper studies a simple voting system that has the potential to increase the power of minorities without sacrificing aggregate efficiency. The storable votes mechanism grants each voter a stock of votes to spend as desired over a series of binary decisions. By accumulating votes on issues that it deems most important, the minority can win occasionally. But because the majority typically can outvote it, the minority wins only if its strength of preference is high and the majority's strength of preference is low. The result is that with storable votes, aggregate efficiency either falls little or in fact rises. The theoretical predictions of our model are confirmed by a series of experiments: the frequency of minority victories, the relative payoff of the minority versus the majority, and the aggregate payoffs all match the theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy in its series Papers with number 09-19-2005b.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:prirpe:09-19-2005b

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  1. Alessandra Casella & Andrew Gelman & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2003. "An Experimental Study of Storable Votes," NBER Working Papers 9982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2007. "Qualitative Voting," Economics Series Working Papers 320, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Alessandra Casella, 2002. "Storable Votes," NBER Working Papers 9189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Paul Milgrom & Robert Weber, 1981. "Distributional Strategies for Games with Incomplete Information," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 428R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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