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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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References

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  1. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
  2. Alessandra Casella, 2002. "Storable Votes," NBER Working Papers 9189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Börgers, Tilman & Postl, Peter, 2009. "Efficient compromising," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 2057-2076, September.
  7. Ledyard, John O., . "Incentive Compatibility and Incomplete Information," Working Papers 187, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. Salvador Barberà & Matthew O. Jackson, 2000. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," Working Papers 57, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  9. Gibbard, Allan, 1977. "Manipulation of Schemes That Mix Voting with Chance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(3), pages 665-81, April.
  10. Alessandra Casella & Thomas Palfrey & Raymond Riezman, 2005. "Minorities and Storable Votes," CESifo Working Paper Series 1583, CESifo Group Munich.
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  13. Kim-Sau Chung & Jeffrey C. Ely, 2003. "Foundations of Dominant Strategy Mechanisms," Discussion Papers 1372, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Salvador Barberà & Matthew O. Jackson, 2003. "On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogeneous Union," Working Papers 220, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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  18. 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. Pivato, Marcus, 2013. "Statistical utilitarianism," MPRA Paper 49561, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Borgers, Tilman & Smith, Doug, 2011. "Robust mechanism design and dominant strategy voting rules," MPRA Paper 37027, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Alex Gershkov & Benny Moldovanu & Xianwen Shi, 2013. "Optimal Mechanism Design without Money," Working Papers tecipa-481, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  4. Giles, Adam & Postl, Peter, 2014. "Equilibrium and effectiveness of two-parameter scoring rules," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 31-52.
  5. Tilman Borgers & Angel Hernando-Veciana & Daniel Krahmer, 2007. "When are signals complements or substitutes?," Economics Working Papers we072111, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  6. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2012. "Qualitative voting," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(4), pages 526-554, October.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

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