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Agenda control as a cheap talk game: Theory and experiments with Storable Votes

  • Casella, Alessandra

The paper studies a committee voting sequentially on a known series of binary proposals. Each member is granted, in addition to a vote for each proposal, a single extra bonus vote - a streamlined version of Storable Votes. When the order of the agenda is exogenous, a sufficient condition guarantees the existence of welfare gains, relative to simple majority voting. But is efficiency compromised if a chair controls the order of the agenda? The agenda becomes cheap talk and can be used to transmit information about the chair's priorities. The game has multiple equilibria, differing in the precision of the information transmitted, but the welfare impact is minor, and the comparison to simple majority voting is unchanged. In laboratory experiments, subjects have difficulty identifying the informative strategies, but payoffs are effectively identical to theoretical predictions. The bonus vote matters; the chair's control of the agenda does not.

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

Volume (Year): 72 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 46-76

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:72:y:2011:i:1:p:46-76
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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