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Enlargement and the Balance of Power: An Experimental Study

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  • Maria Montero

    (University of Nottingham)

  • Martin Sefton

    (University of Nottingham)

  • Ping Zhang

    (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

Many important decisions are taken according to weighted majority rule. Power indices predict that enlargement of the voting body may affect the balance of power between the original members even if their number of votes and the decision rule remain constant. Some of the existing voters may actually gain, a phenomenon known as the paradox of new members. We test for this effect using laboratory experiments. Participants propose and vote on how to divide a budget according to weighted majority voting rules, and we measure the voting power of a player by his average payoff in the experiment. By comparing voting power across voting bodies of varying size, we find empirical support for the paradox of new members. Our results also allow an assessment of the predictive performance of standard power indices.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/exp/papers/0507/0507001.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 0507001.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 04 Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0507001

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 25
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: voting; power indices; experiments; paradox of new members;

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References

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  1. Guillaume R. Frechette & John H. Kagel & Steven Lehrer, 2000. "Bargaining in Legislatures: An Experimental Investigation of Open versus Closed Amendment Rules," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1515, Econometric Society.
  2. Moshé Machover & Dan S. Felsenthal, 2001. "The Treaty of Nice and qualified majority voting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 431-464.
  3. Montero, Maria, 2006. "Noncooperative foundations of the nucleolus in majority games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 380-397, February.
  4. Simon Gächter & Arno Riedl, 2006. "Dividing Justly in Bargaining Problems with Claims," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 571-594, December.
  5. Frechette, Guillaume R. & Kagel, John H. & Morelli, Massimo, 2005. "Gamson's Law versus non-cooperative bargaining theory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 365-390, May.
  6. Okada, Akira & Riedl, Arno, 2005. "Inefficiency and social exclusion in a coalition formation game: experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 278-311, February.
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  8. Roth, Alvin E., 1977. "Utility functions for simple games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 481-489, December.
  9. Dreyer, Jacob S & Schotter, Andrew, 1980. "Power Relationships in the International Monetary Fund: The Consequences of Quota Changes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(1), pages 97-106, February.
  10. Laruelle, Annick & Valenciano, Federico, 2007. "Bargaining in committees as an extension of Nash's bargaining theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 291-305, January.
  11. Simon Gaechter & Arno Riedl, 2002. "Moral Property Rights in Bargaining," CESifo Working Paper Series 697, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Simon G�chter & Arno Riedl, 2003. "Moral Property Rights in Bargaining with Infeasible Claims," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-055/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  13. J. Keith Murnighan & Alvin E. Roth, 1977. "The Effects of Communication and Information Availability in an Experimental Study of a Three-Person Game," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(12), pages 1336-1348, August.
  14. Roth, Alvin E & Murnighan, J Keith, 1982. "The Role of Information in Bargaining: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1123-42, September.
  15. Gary E. Bolton & Kalyan Chatterjee & Kathleen L. McGinn, 2003. "How Communication Links Influence Coalition Bargaining: A Laboratory Investigation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(5), pages 583-598, May.
  16. Roth, Alvin E, 1977. "The Shapley Value as a von Neumann-Morgenstern Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(3), pages 657-64, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Maria Montero, 2007. "The Paradox of New Members in the Council of Ministers: A Noncooperative Approach," Discussion Papers 2007-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  2. Michalis Drouvelis & Maria Montero & Martin Sefton, . "Gaining Power through Enlargement: Strategic Foundations and Experimental Evidence," Discussion Papers 09/30, Department of Economics, University of York.
  3. Guido Bünstorf & Christoph Engel & Sven Fischer & Werner Güth, 2013. "Win Shift Lose Stay - An Experimental Test of Non-Compete Clauses," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-038, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  4. Christoph Engel, 2013. "Deterrence by Imperfect Sanctions – A Public Good Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_09, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  5. Miller , Luis & Vanberg, Christoph, 2014. "Group size and decision rules in legislative bargaining," Working Papers 0558, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  6. Matthias Weber, 2014. "Choosing Voting Systems behind the Veil of Ignorance: A Two-Tier Voting Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-042/I, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Sascha Kurz & Nicola Maaser & Stefan Napel & Matthias Weber, 2014. "Mostly Sunny: A Forecast of Tomorrow's Power Index Research," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-058/I, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Christoph Engel & Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2013. "Words Substitute Fists – Justifying Punishment in a Public Good Experiment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_16, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Jan 2014.
  9. Breitmoser, Yves & Tan, Jonathan H.W., 2011. "Ultimata bargaining: generosity without social motives," MPRA Paper 33613, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Michalis Drouvelis & Maria Montero & Martin Sefton, 2007. "The Paradox of New Members: Strategic Foundations and Experimental Evidence," Discussion Papers 2007-06, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  11. R. Bosman & P. Maier & V. Sadiraj & F. van Winden, . "Let Me Vote! An experimental study of vote rotation in committees," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-18, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Aug 2013.
  12. Christoph Engel & Marco Kleine, 2013. "Who is Afraid of Pirates? An Experiment on the Deterrence of Innovation by Imitation," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_07, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Nov 2013.
  13. Eric Guerci & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Naoki Watanabe & Gabriele Esposito & Xiaoyan Lu, 2011. "A Note on a Weighted Voting Experiment: Human Mistakes in Cooperative Games," Working Papers halshs-00645867, HAL.

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