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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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Bibliographic Info

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. Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2010. "Are We Taxing Ourselves? How Deliberation and Experience Shape Voting on Taxes," Vienna Economics Papers 1010, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  2. 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).
  3. Tilman Slembeck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2002. "Do Institutions Promote Rationality? An Experimental Study of the Three-Door Anomaly," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-21, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  4. Jean-Robert Tyran & Thomas Markussen & Louis Putterman, 2011. "Self-Organization for Collective Action: An Experimental Study of Voting on Formal, Informal, and No Sanction Regimes," Vienna Economics Papers 1103, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  5. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  6. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Erik Snowberg & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Explaining the Favorite-Longshot Bias: Is it Risk-Love or Misperceptions?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3029, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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