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An optimal Voting System when Voting is costly

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  • Bognar, Katalin
  • Börgers, Tilman
  • Meyer-ter-Vehn, Moritz

Abstract

We consider the design of an optimal voting system when voting is costly. For a private values model with two alternatives we show the optimality of a voting system that combines three elements: (i) there is an arbitrarily chosen default decision and non-participation is interpreted as a vote in favor of the default; (ii) voting is sequential; (iii) not all voters are invited to participate in the vote. We show the optimality of such a voting system by first arguing that it is first best, that is, it maximizes welfare when incentive compatibility constraints are ignored, and then showing that individual incentives and social welfare are sufficiently aligned to make the first best system incentive compatible. The analysis in this paper involves some methods that are new to the theory of mechanism design, and it is also a purpose of this paper to explore these new methods.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29123.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29123

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Keywords: Voting; mechanism design; committees.;

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References

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  1. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401, December.
  2. Roger B. Myerson, 1984. "Multistage Games with Communication," Discussion Papers 590, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Sayantan Ghosal & Ben Lockwood, 2009. "Costly voting when both information and preferences differ: is turnout too high or too low?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 25-50, June.
  4. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000232, David K. Levine.
  5. Celik, Gorkem & Yilankaya, Okan, 2005. "Optimal Auctions with Simultaneous and Costly Participation," Microeconomics.ca working papers celik-05-05-09-03-55-40, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 09 Jun 2006.
  6. Bergemann, Dirk & Välimäki, Juuso, 2006. "Information in Mechanism Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 5494, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Alex Gershkov & Balazs Szentes, 2004. "Optimal Voting Schemes with Costly Information Acquisition," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 122247000000000311, www.najecon.org.
  8. Stegeman, Mark, 1996. "Participation Costs and Efficient Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 228-259, October.
  9. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2002. "Information Acquisition and Efficient Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1007-1033, May.
  10. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2009. "Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 275-291, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Marco Faravelli & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2012. "(Don’t) Make My Vote Count," Discussion Papers Series 464, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.

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