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Pivotality and Responsibility Attribution in Sequential Voting

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  • Björn Bartling

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Zürich, Switzerland)

  • Urs Fischbacher

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany, and TWI Kreuzlingen, Switzerland)

  • Simeon Schudy

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

Abstract

Are people blamed for being pivotal if they implement an unpopular outcome in a sequential voting process? We conduct an experimental voting game and analyze how pivotality affects responsibility attribution by parties who can be negatively affected by the voting outcome. We measure responsibility attribution by assigned punishment points and find that pivotal decision makers are blamed significantly more than non-pivotal decision makers. Moreover, we find that some voters avoid being pivotal by voting strategically to delegate the pivotal vote to subsequent decision makers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Konstanz in its series Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz with number 2014-01.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 23 Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1401

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Related research

Keywords: Pivotality; voting; responsibility attribution; blame; delegation; experiment;

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  1. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2004. "Voting when money and morals conflict: an experimental test of expressive voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1645-1664, July.
  2. David K Levine, 1997. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2047, David K. Levine.
  3. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
  4. Björn Bartling & Urs Fischbacher, 2008. "Shifting the Blame: On Delegation and Responsibility," TWI Research Paper Series, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz 32, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  5. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Gilat Levy, 2007. "Decision Making in Committees: Transparency, Reputation, and Voting Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 150-168, March.
  7. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  8. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  9. John R. Hamman & George Loewenstein & Roberto A. Weber, 2010. "Self-Interest through Delegation: An Additional Rationale for the Principal-Agent Relationship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1826-46, September.
  10. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  11. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
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