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Protecting minorities through the average voting rules

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Abstract

Properties of an average voting rule - the outcome being some weighted average of votes – are investigated, with particular attention to its ability to protect minorities. The unique average voting outcome is characterized with a median formula which depends on the voters’ preferred allocations and some parameters constructed from the voters’ weights. We provide necessary and sufficient conditions for the average outcome to be above the majority outcome. A minority is said to be protected by a switch in voting rule if the voting outcome becomes closer to the median bliss point of the minority. A sufficient condition for minority protection is that, either the minority’s weight is sufficiently large or the majority outcome is too unfavorable to the minority. Applications to the composition of public goods and to public expenditures level are considered. We end by exploring the combined use of average and majority voting in a two-stage procedure for determining both the level and the composition of public expenditures.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France in its series IDEP Working Papers with number 0303.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0303

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Keywords: minority; majority voting; public goods; Nash equilibrium.;

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References

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  1. Bilodeau, Marc, 1994. "Tax-earmarking and separate school financing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 51-63, May.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin & Anke Gerber, 1998. "Political compromise and endogenous formation of coalitions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 445-454.
  4. Bergstrom, Ted C, 1979. " When Does Majority Rule Supply Public Goods Efficiently?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(2), pages 216-26.
  5. Bagnoli, Mark & McKee, Michael, 1991. "Controlling the Game: Political Sponsors and Bureaus," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 229-47, Fall.
  6. Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
  7. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  8. Michael McKee, 1988. "Political competition and the Roman Catholic schools: Ontario, Canada," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 57-67, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Régis Renault & Alain Trannoy, 2004. "Assessing the extent of strategic manipulation for the average voting rule," IDEP Working Papers 0403, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France.
  2. Marchese, Carla & Montefiori, Marcello, 2005. "Mean voting rule and strategical behavior: an experiment," POLIS Working Papers 49, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  3. Carla Marchese & Marcello Montefiori, 2008. "Voting the public expenditure: an experiment," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 020, University of Siena.
  4. Marchese, Carla & Montefiori, Marcello, 2011. "Strategy versus sincerity in mean voting," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 93-102, February.
  5. Bryan McCannon, 2009. "Can the majority lose the election?," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 305-317, December.

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