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Sixty-Four Percent Majority Rule in Ducal Venice: Voting for the Doge

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  • Coggins, Jay S
  • Perali, C Federico

Abstract

A recent result of A. Caplin and B. Nalebuff (1988) demonstrates that, under certain conditions on individual preferences and their distribution across society, super-majority rule performs well as a social decision rule. If the required super-majority is chosen appropriately, the rule yields a unique winner and voter cycles cannot occur. The voting procedure for electing a doge in medieval Venice, developed in 1268, employed a super-majority requirement agreeing with the Caplin and Nalebuff formula. The authors present a brief history of the Venetian political institutions, show how the rule was employed, and argue that it contributed to the remarkable centuries-long political stability of Venice. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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  • Coggins, Jay S & Perali, C Federico, 1998. "Sixty-Four Percent Majority Rule in Ducal Venice: Voting for the Doge," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 97(4), pages 709-723, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:97:y:1998:i:4:p:709-23
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    1. Denzau, Arthur T & North, Douglass C, 1994. "Shared Mental Models: Ideologies and Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 3-31.
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