Fixing the Quorum: Representation versus Abstention
AbstractThe majority of the participating voters in referenda does not necessarily reflect the majority of the whole population since voters can abstain. This paper shows that a quorum exists for which the outcome of the referendum coincides with the population preference. However, a second equilibrium can exist in which the proposal is always rejected. When insu±cient information makes the optimal quorum unknown, it is in general more harmful to set the quorum too high than too low. Robustness of the results is analyzed by allowing pressure groups to encourage or discourage participation after the quorum is set.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2007/07.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Badia Fiesolana, Via dei Roccettini, 9, 50016 San Domenico di Fiesole (FI) Italy
Web page: http://www.eui.eu/ECO/
More information through EDIRC
Electoral engineering; quorum; referendum; voting/not-voting decision; voting rules;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-06-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2007-06-23 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2007-06-23 (Positive Political Economics)
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.:
- Myerson, Roger B., 2000.
"Large Poisson Games,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 7-45, September.
- Keith Jakee & Guang-Zhen Sun, 2006. "Is compulsory voting more democratic?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 61-75, October.
- Helios Herrera & Andrea Mattozzi, 2010.
"Quorum and Turnout in Referenda,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 838-871, 06.
- Marco A. Haan & Peter Kooreman, 2003. "How majorities can lose the election Another voting paradox," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 509-522, 06.
- John Ashworth & Benny Geys & Bruno Heyndels, 2006. "Everyone likes a winner: An empirical test of the effect of electoral closeness on turnout in a context of expressive voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 383-405, September.
- Hannu Nurmi, 1998. "Voting paradoxes and referenda," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 333-350.
- John Matsusaka, 2005. "The eclipse of legislatures: Direct democracy in the 21st century," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 157-177, July.
- Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
- Rodney Fort & Douglas Bunn, 1998. "Whether one votes and how one votes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 51-62, April.
- Fort, Rodney & Bunn, Douglas N, 1998. " Whether One Votes and How One Votes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 51-62, April.
- MoshÊ Machover & Dan S. Felsenthal, 1997. "Ternary Voting Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 335-351.
- Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "The law of large numbers with a continuum of IID random variables," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 19-25, February.
- David P. Myatt, 2007. "On the Theory of Strategic Voting -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 255-281.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marcia Gastaldo).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.