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The (sub-)optimality of the majority rule

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  • Schmitz, Patrick W.
  • Tröger, Thomas

Abstract

We consider collective choice from two alternatives. Ex ante, each agent is uncertain about which alternative she prefers, and may be uncertain about the intensity of her preferences. An environment is given by a probability distribution over utility vectors that is symmetric across agents and neutral across alternatives. In many environments, the majority voting rule maximizes agents' ex-ante expected utilities among all anonymous and dominant-strategy implementable choice rules. But in some environments where the agents' utilities are stochastically correlated, other dominant-strategy choice rules are better for all agents. If utilities are stochastically independent across agents, majority voting is ex-ante optimal among all anonymous and incentive-compatible rules. We also compare rules from an interim viewpoint.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 32716.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:32716

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Keywords: majority rule;

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Cited by:
  1. Börgers, Tilman & Hernando-Veciana, Angel & Krähmer, Daniel, 2013. "When are signals complements or substitutes?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(1), pages 165-195.
  2. Kleiner, Andreas & Drexl, Moritz, 2013. "Why Voting? A Welfare Analysis," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79886, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  3. Engelmann, Dirk & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2013. "Tailored Bayesian Mechanisms: Experimental Evidence from Two-Stage Voting Games," CEPR Discussion Papers 9544, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2012. "Qualitative voting," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(4), pages 526-554, October.
  5. Börgers, Tilman & Smith, Doug, 2014. "Robust mechanism design and dominant strategy voting rules," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), May.
  6. Giles, Adam & Postl, Peter, 2014. "Equilibrium and effectiveness of two-parameter scoring rules," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 31-52.
  7. Pivato, Marcus, 2013. "Statistical utilitarianism," MPRA Paper 49561, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Alex Gershkov & Benny Moldovanu & Xianwen Shi, 2013. "Optimal Mechanism Design without Money," Working Papers tecipa-481, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

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