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Voting as a Lottery

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  • Attanasi, Giuseppe
  • Corazzini, Luca
  • Passarelli, Francesco

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 09-116.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision: Nov 2010
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:22207

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Keywords: majority rule; supermajority; risk aversion;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Attanasi, Giuseppe & Corazzini, Luca & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Passarelli, Francesco, 2010. "Risk Aversion, Over-Confidence and Private Information as Determinants of Majority Thresholds," TSE Working Papers 09-088, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).

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