IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v133y2017icp21-38.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The problem of the divided majority: Preference aggregation under uncertainty

Author

Listed:
  • Granić, Đura-Georg

Abstract

This paper reports on the results of a series of experimental laboratory elections. The novelty of the design allows me to study the extent to which voting methods defeat the Condorcet loser and elect the Condorcet winner in a repeated-game, divided majority setting. I assess and compare the performance of three voting mechanisms, Approval Voting, Borda Count, and Plurality Voting under two information structures. Voters either know the preference structure in the electorate or hold no information regarding other voters’ preferences. With enough experience, the number of elections won by the Condorcet loser is fairly low across voting methods and information structures. Approval Voting and Borda Count dissolve information imperfections efficiently and allow voters to implement the Condorcet winner, independently of the underlying information structure. The frequency with which the Condorcet winner is elected under Plurality Voting crucially depends on available information. When voters are uninformed about the preference structure in the electorate, Plurality Voting fails to implement the Condorcet winner. This is costly and decreases total welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Granić, Đura-Georg, 2017. "The problem of the divided majority: Preference aggregation under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 21-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:133:y:2017:i:c:p:21-38
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2016.10.022
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268116302517
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jebo.2016.10.022?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2010. "The Swing Voter's Curse in the Laboratory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 61-89.
    2. André Blais & Marc André Bodet, 2006. "How Do Voters Form Expectations about the Parties' Chances of Winning the Election?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 87(3), pages 477-493, September.
    3. Wolitzky, Alexander, 2009. "Fully sincere voting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 720-735, November.
    4. Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-881, September.
    5. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Ðura-Georg Granić, 2012. "Two field experiments on Approval Voting in Germany," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(1), pages 171-205, June.
    6. Myerson, Roger B. & Weber, Robert J., 1993. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 102-114, March.
    7. Antoinette Baujard & Frédéric Gavrel & Herrade Igersheim & Jean-François Laslier & Isabelle Lebon, 2013. "Who’s Favored by Evaluative Voting ? An Experiment Conducted During the 2012 French Presidential Election," Working Papers of BETA 2013-08, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    8. Gerber, Elisabeth R. & Morton, Rebecca B. & Rietz, Thomas A., 1998. "Minority Representation in Multimember Districts," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 92(1), pages 127-144, March.
    9. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2016. "Divided majority and information aggregation: Theory and experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 114-128.
    10. Alvarez, R. Michael & Nagler, Jonathan, 2000. "A New Approach for Modelling Strategic Voting in Multiparty Elections," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(1), pages 57-75, January.
    11. Jean-François Laslier & Karine Straeten, 2008. "A live experiment on approval voting," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(1), pages 97-105, March.
    12. Myerson, Roger B., 2000. "Large Poisson Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 7-45, September.
    13. Arnaud Dellis & Sean D’Evelyn & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2011. "Multiple votes, ballot truncation and the two-party system: an experiment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 37(2), pages 171-200, July.
    14. Steven J. Brams & Peter C. Fishburn, 2010. "Going from Theory to Practice: The Mixed Success of Approval Voting," Studies in Choice and Welfare, in: Jean-François Laslier & M. Remzi Sanver (ed.), Handbook on Approval Voting, chapter 0, pages 19-37, Springer.
    15. Lupia, Arthur, 1994. "The Effect of Information on Voting Behavior and Electoral Outcomes: An Experimental Study of Direct Legislation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 78(1), pages 65-86, January.
    16. Karine Van der Straeten & Jean-François Laslier & Nicolas Sauger & André Blais, 2010. "Strategic, sincere, and heuristic voting under four election rules: an experimental study," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(3), pages 435-472, September.
    17. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira, 2012. "One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(1), pages 43-87, January.
    18. David P. Myatt, 2007. "On the Theory of Strategic Voting -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 255-281.
    19. Brams, Steven J. & Fishburn, Peter C., 1978. "Approval Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 831-847, September.
    20. Lau, Richard R. & Redlawsk, David P., 1997. "Voting Correctly," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 91(3), pages 585-598, September.
    21. Myerson, Roger B., 2002. "Comparison of Scoring Rules in Poisson Voting Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 219-251, March.
    22. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
    23. Steven Brams & Peter Fishburn & Samuel Merrill, 1988. "The responsiveness of approval voting: Comments on Saari and Van Newenhizen," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 121-131, November.
    24. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    25. Niemi, Richard G., 1984. "The Problem of Strategic Behavior under Approval Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 952-958, December.
    26. Forsythe, Robert & Rietz, Thomas & Myerson, Roger & Weber, Robert, 1996. "An Experimental Study of Voting Rules and Polls in Three-Candidate Elections," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 25(3), pages 355-383.
    27. Merrill, Samuel & Nagel, Jack, 1987. "The Effect of Approval Balloting on Strategic Voting under Alternative Decision Rules," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 509-524, June.
    28. Brambor, Thomas & Clark, William Roberts & Golder, Matt, 2006. "Understanding Interaction Models: Improving Empirical Analyses," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 63-82, January.
    29. Jonathan Baron & Nicole Y. Altman & Stephan Kroll, 2005. "Approval Voting and Parochialism," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(6), pages 895-907, December.
    30. repec:ulb:ulbeco:2013/162238 is not listed on IDEAS
    31. Richard Potthoff, 2011. "Condorcet Polling," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 67-86, July.
    32. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    33. McKelvey, Richard D. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1985. "Elections with limited information: A fulfilled expectations model using contemporaneous poll and endorsement data as information sources," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 55-85, June.
    34. Andonie, Costel & Kuzmics, Christoph, 2012. "Pre-election polls as strategic coordination devices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 681-700.
    35. Fishburn, Peter C., 1978. "Axioms for approval voting: Direct proof," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 180-185, October.
    36. T. Reitz & R. Myerson & R. Weber, 1998. "Campaign Finance Levels as Coordinating Signals in Three‐way, Experimental Elections," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 185-218, November.
    37. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2008. "Information Aggregation and Strategic Abstention in Large Laboratory Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 194-200, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Anja Achtziger & Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Alexander Ritschel, 2020. "Cognitive load in economic decisions," ECON - Working Papers 354, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2016. "Divided majority and information aggregation: Theory and experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 114-128.
    2. Matías Núñez, 2014. "The strategic sincerity of Approval voting," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 56(1), pages 157-189, May.
    3. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2017. "Multicandidate elections: Aggregate uncertainty in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 132-150.
    4. Arnaud Dellis & Sean D’Evelyn & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2011. "Multiple votes, ballot truncation and the two-party system: an experiment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 37(2), pages 171-200, July.
    5. Bouton, Laurent & Ogden, Benjamin, 2017. "Ethical Voting in Multicandidate Elections," CEPR Discussion Papers 12374, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Buckenmaier, Johannes, 2019. "Strongly sincere best responses under approval voting and arbitrary preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 388-401.
    7. Laurent Bouton & Benjamin G. Ogden, 2017. "Group-based Voting in Multicandidate Elections," NBER Working Papers 23898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bouton, Laurent & Gallego, Jorge & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Morton, Rebecca, 2019. "Runoff Elections in the Laboratory," CEPR Discussion Papers 13824, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Laurent Bouton & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Frédéric Malherbe, 2014. "Get Rid of Unanimity: The Superiority of Majority Rule with Veto Power," NBER Working Papers 20417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Cesar Martinelli & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2017. "Communication and Information in Games of Collective Decision: A Survey of Experimental Results," Working Papers 1065, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    11. Arnaud Dellis & Mandar Oak, 2016. "Multiple votes, multiple candidacies and polarization," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(1), pages 1-38, January.
    12. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira, 2012. "One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(1), pages 43-87, January.
    13. Igerseim, Herrade & Baujard, Antoinette & Laslier, Jean-François, 2016. "La question du vote. Expérimentations en laboratoire et In Situ," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 92(1-2), pages 151-189, Mars-Juin.
    14. Enriqueta Aragones & Micael Castanheira, 2010. "approval voting," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics,, Palgrave Macmillan.
    15. Matías Núñez & Jean Laslier, 2014. "Preference intensity representation: strategic overstating in large elections," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(2), pages 313-340, February.
    16. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Johannes Buckenmaier, 2021. "Voting for compromises: alternative voting methods in polarized societies," ECON - Working Papers 394, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    17. Herrera, Helios & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & McMurray, Joseph C., 2019. "Information aggregation and turnout in proportional representation: A laboratory experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 179(C).
    18. Martin Gregor, 2013. "The Optimal Ballot Structure for Double-Member Districts," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp493, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    19. Ulle Endriss, 2013. "Sincerity and manipulation under approval voting," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 335-355, March.
    20. Lucia Buenrostro & Amrita Dhillon & Peter Vida, 2013. "Scoring rule voting games and dominance solvability," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(2), pages 329-352, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Divided majority; Approval Voting; Borda Count; Plurality Voting; Uncertainty;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:133:y:2017:i:c:p:21-38. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.