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Divided majority and information aggregation: Theory and experiment

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  • Bouton, Laurent
  • Castanheira, Micael
  • Llorente-Saguer, Aniol

Abstract

We propose a theory-based experimental approach to compare the properties of approval voting (AV) with those of plurality. This comparison is motivated by the theoretical prediction that, in our aggregate uncertainty setup, AV should produce close to first-best outcomes, while plurality will not. The experiment shows, first, that welfare gains are substantial. Second, both aggregate and individual responses are in line with theoretical predictions, and thus with strategic voting. Finally, subjects' behavior under AV highlights the need to study equilibria in asymmetric strategies.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:134:y:2016:i:c:p:114-128
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2015.11.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Santosh Anagol & Thomas Fujiwara, 2014. "The Runner-Up Effect," NBER Working Papers 20261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ahn, David S. & Oliveros, Santiago, 2016. "Approval voting and scoring rules with common values," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 304-310.
    3. Nikolas Tsakas & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2017. "Electoral Competition with Third Party Entry in the Lab," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 09-2017, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    4. repec:eee:jeborg:v:148:y:2018:i:c:p:121-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Bouton, Laurent & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Malherbe, Frédéric, 2017. "Unanimous rules in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 179-198.
    9. Ignacio Esponda Jr. & Emanuel Vespa Jr., 2014. "Hypothetical Thinking and Information Extraction in the Laboratory," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 180-202, November.
    10. Sebastian Fehrler & Niall Hughes, 2018. "How Transparency Kills Information Aggregation: Theory and Experiment," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 181-209, February.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Ginzburg, Boris, 2017. "Sincere voting in an electorate with heterogeneous preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 120-123.
    14. Laurent Bouton & Benjamin G. Ogden, 2017. "Ethical Voting in Multicandidate Elections," NBER Working Papers 23898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. 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.
    16. Kawamura, Kohei & Vlaseros, Vasileios, 2017. "Expert information and majority decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 77-88.
    17. Herrera, Helios & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & McMurray, Joseph C., 2016. "The Marginal Voter's Curse," CEPR Discussion Papers 11463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    Keywords

    Multicandidate elections; Information aggregation; Plurality; Approval voting; Laboratory experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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