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The dark side of the vote: Biased voters, social information, and information aggregation through majority voting

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  • Morton, Rebecca B.
  • Piovesan, Marco
  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

Abstract

We experimentally investigate information aggregation through majority voting when some voters are biased. In such situations, majority voting can have a dark side, that is, result in groups making choices inferior to those made by individuals acting alone. In line with theoretical predictions, information on the popularity of policy choices is beneficial when a minority of voters are biased, but harmful when a majority is biased. In theory, information on the success of policy choices elsewhere de-biases voters and alleviates the inefficiency. However, in the experiment, providing social information on success is ineffective and does not de-bias voters. --

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior with number SP II 2013-209.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmbh:spii2013209

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Keywords: Condorcet Jury Theorem; information aggregation; majority voting; social information;

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  1. Snowberg, Erik & Wolfers, Justin, 2010. "Explaining the Favorite-Longshot Bias: Is it Risk-Love or Misperceptions?," IZA Discussion Papers 4884, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  4. Sausgruber, Rupert & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2011. "Are we taxing ourselves?: How deliberation and experience shape voting on taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 164-176, February.
  5. Blinder, Alan S & Morgan, John, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better than One? Monetary Policy by Committee," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 789-811, October.
  6. S. Nageeb Ali & Jacob K. Goeree & Navin Kartik & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2008. "Information Aggregation in Standing and Ad Hoc Committees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 181-86, May.
  7. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Koch, Alexander K. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2008. "Belief Elicitation in Experiments: Is there a Hedging Problem?," IZA Discussion Papers 3517, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Slembeck, Tilman & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2004. "Do institutions promote rationality?: An experimental study of the three-door anomaly," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 337-350, July.
  9. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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