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The (sub-)optimality of the majority rule

  • Schmitz, Patrick W.
  • Tröger, Thomas

We consider collective choice from two alternatives. Ex-ante, each agent is uncertain about which alternative she prefers, and may be uncertain about the intensity of her preferences. An environment is given by a probability distribution over utility vectors that is symmetric across agents and neutral across alternatives. In many environments, the majority voting rule maximizes agentsʼ ex-ante expected utilities among all anonymous and dominant-strategy implementable choice rules. But in some environments where the agentsʼ utilities are stochastically correlated, other dominant-strategy choice rules are better for all agents. If utilities are stochastically independent across agents, majority voting is ex-ante optimal among all anonymous and incentive-compatible rules. We also compare rules from an interim-viewpoint.

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

Volume (Year): 74 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 651-665

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:74:y:2012:i:2:p:651-665
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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