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Storable votes

  • Casella, Alessandra

Motivated by the need for more flexible decision-making mechanisms in the European Union, the paper proposes a simple but novel voting scheme for binary decisions taken by committees that meet regularly over time. At each meeting, committee members are allowed to store their vote for future use; the decision is then taken according to the majority of votes cast. The possibility of shifting votes intertemporally allows agents to concentrate their votes when preferences are more intense, and although the scheme will not in general achieve full efficiency, making votes storable typically leads to ex ante welfare gains. The analysis in the paper suggests that the result will hold if one of the following conditions is satisfied: (i) the number of voters is above a minimum threshold; (ii) preferences are not too polarized; (iii) the horizon is long enough.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 51 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 391-419

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:51:y:2005:i:2:p:391-419
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. Alessandra Casella, 2002. "Storable Votes," NBER Working Papers 9189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
  3. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-65, Autumn.
  4. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 625018000000000232, www.najecon.org.
  5. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
  6. Phelan, C. & Townsend, R.M., 1990. "Computing Multiperiod, Information-Constrained Optima," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-13, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  7. Ledyard, John O. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "The approximation of efficient public good mechanisms by simple voting schemes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 153-171, February.
  8. Atkeson, Andrew & Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1992. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 427-53, July.
  9. Casella, Alessandra & Gelman, Andrew & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2003. "An Experimental Study of Storable Votes," Working Papers 1173, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  10. Paul Milgrom & Robert Weber, 1981. "Distributional Strategies for Games with Incomplete Information," Discussion Papers 428R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. d'Aspremont, Claude & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1979. "Incentives and incomplete information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 25-45, February.
  12. Townsend, Robert M, 1982. "Optimal Multiperiod Contracts and the Gain from Enduring Relationships under Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1166-86, December.
  13. Jeffrey S. Rosenthal & Martin J. Osborne & Matthew A. Turner, 2000. "Meetings with Costly Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 927-943, September.
  14. Dixit, A. & Grossmann, G.M. & Gul, F., 1998. "A Theory of Political Compromise," Papers 191, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  15. Piketty, Thomas, 1999. "The information-aggregation approach to political institutions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 791-800, April.
  16. Moulin, H, 1982. "Voting with Proportional Veto Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 145-62, January.
  17. Mueller, Dennis C., 1978. "Voting by veto," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 57-75, August.
  18. Philipson, Tomas J & Snyder, James M, Jr, 1996. " Equilibrium and Efficiency in an Organized Vote Market," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(3-4), pages 245-65, December.
  19. Moulin, Herve, 1979. "Dominance Solvable Voting Schemes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1137-51, November.
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