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Voting as a Lottery

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  • Giuseppe Attanasi
  • Luca CORAZZINI
  • Francesco PASSARELLI

Abstract

Voting is a lottery in which an individual who is uncertain about how the others vote wins if she belongs to the majority or loses if she falls into the minority. The risk of losing can be reduced by increasing the majority threshold. This however has the negative effect of also lowering the chance to win. We find that an individual prefers higher majority thresholds when she is more risk averse, less powerful, or less optimistic about the chance that others will vote like her. De facto, raising the majority threshold is a form of protection against the higher risk of being tyrannized by an unfavorable majority. We include these preferences for majority thresholds in a Nash bargaining game that describes constitutional negotiations over voting rules. Individuals that largely avert the risk of being tyrannized behave reluctantly during negotiations, and succeed in getting higher protection through a threshold raise.

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Paper provided by LERNA, University of Toulouse in its series LERNA Working Papers with number 09.27.303.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ler:wpaper:09.27.303

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  1. Vincenzo Denicolò & Marco Mariotti, 2000. "Nash Bargaining Theory, Nonconvex Problems and Social Welfare Orderings," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 351-358, June.
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  9. Salvador BARBER?Author-Email: salvador.barbera@uab.es & Matthew O. JACKSON, 2003. "On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogenous Union," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 597.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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  14. Paul Schure & Francesco Passerelli & David Scoones, 2007. "When the Powerful Drag Their Feet," Department Discussion Papers 0703, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
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Cited by:
  1. Giuseppe Attanasi & Luca CORAZZINI & Nikolaos GEORGANTZIS & Francesco PASSARELLI, 2009. "Risk Aversion, Over-Confidence and Private Information as determinants of Majority Thresholds," LERNA Working Papers 09.26.302, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  2. Francesco Passarelli, 2011. "Risky Political Changes: Rational Choice vs Prospect Theory," ISLA Working Papers 39, ISLA, Centre for research on Latin American Studies and Transition Economies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.

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