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Meritocracy, egalitarianism and the stability of majoritarian organizations

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  • Barberà, Salvador
  • Beviá, Carmen
  • Ponsatí, Clara

Abstract

Egalitarianism and meritocracy are competing principles to distribute the joint benefits of cooperation. We examine the consequences of letting members of society vote between those two principles, in a context where individuals must join with others into coalitions of a certain size to become productive. Our setup induces a hedonic game of coalition formation. We study the existence of core stable partitions (organizational structures) of this game. We show that the inability of voters to commit to one distributional rule or another is a potential source of instability. But we also prove that, when stable organizational structures exist, they may be rich in form, and different than those predicted by alternative models of coalition formation. Non-segregated coalitions may arise within core stable structures. Stability is also compatible with the coexistence of meritocratic and egalitarian coalitions. These phenomena are robust, and persist under alternative variants of our initial model.

Suggested Citation

  • Barberà, Salvador & Beviá, Carmen & Ponsatí, Clara, 2015. "Meritocracy, egalitarianism and the stability of majoritarian organizations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 237-257.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:91:y:2015:i:c:p:237-257
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2015.03.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Torregrosa, Ramón J., 2018. "On the endogenous determination of the degree of meritocracy in large cooperatives," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 41-45.
    2. Morelli, Massimo & Park, In-Uck, 2016. "Internal hierarchy and stable coalition structures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 90-96.
    3. Gallo Fernández, Oihane & Iñarra García, María Elena, 2016. "Rationing Rules and Stable Coalition Structures," IKERLANAK Ikerlanak;2016-100, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Egalitarianism; Meritocracy; Coalition formation; Hedonic games; Core stability; Assortative mating;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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