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Ex Interim Voting: An Experimental Study of Referendums for Public-Good Provision

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  • Sven Fischer
  • Andreas Nicklisch

Abstract

We report the results of an experimental study that compares voting mechanisms in the provision of public goods. Subjects can freely decide how much they want to contribute. Whether the public good is finally provided is decided by a referendum under full information about all contributions. If provision is rejected, contributions are reduced by a fee and reimbursed. We compare unanimity with majority voting and both with the baseline of cheap talk. Contributions are highest under unanimity. Yet, results concerning overall efficiency are mixed. When provision occurs, only unanimity enhances efficiency. Overall, however, unanimity leads to too many rejections.

Suggested Citation

  • Sven Fischer & Andreas Nicklisch, 2007. "Ex Interim Voting: An Experimental Study of Referendums for Public-Good Provision," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(1), pages 56-74, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200703)163:1_56:eivaes_2.0.tx_2-s
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ananish Chaudhuri & Sara Graziano & Pushkar Maitra, 2006. "Social Learning and Norms in a Public Goods Experiment with Inter-Generational Advice -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(2), pages 357-380.
    2. Cinyabuguma, Matthias & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2005. "Cooperation under the threat of expulsion in a public goods experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1421-1435, August.
    3. Feld, Lars P. & Matsusaka, John G., 2003. "Budget referendums and government spending: evidence from Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2703-2724, December.
    4. Karl-Martin Ehrhart & Claudia Keser, 1999. "Mobility and Cooperation: On the Run," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-24, CIRANO.
    5. Jeffrey S. Banks & Charles R. Plott & David P. Porter, 1988. "An Experimental Analysis of Unanimity in Public Goods Provision Mechanisms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(2), pages 301-322.
    6. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
    7. Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Keser, Claudia, 1999. "Mobility and cooperation: on the run," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-69, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Nicklisch & Irenaeus Wolff, 2011. "Cooperation Norms in Multiple‐Stage Punishment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(5), pages 791-827, October.
    2. Adriana Bernal Escobar & Rafael Cuervo & Gonzalo Pinzón Trujillo & Jorge H. Maldonado., 2013. "Derretimiento y Retroceso Glaciar: Entendiendo la Percepción de los Hogares Agrícolas que se Enfrentan a los Desafíos del Cambio Climático," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010679, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    3. Christoph Engel & Urs Schweizer, 2007. "Editorial Preface," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(1), pages 1-4, March.
    4. Bernal-Escobar, Adriana & Cuervo-Sánchez, Rafael & Pinzon-Trujillo, Gonzalo & Maldonado, Jorge Higinio, 2013. "Glacier Melting and Retreat: Understanding the Perception of Agricultural Households That Face the Challenges of Climate Change," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149005, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Seebauer, Michael, 2015. "Does direct democracy foster efficient policies? An experimental investigation of costly initiatives," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 01/2015, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    6. Bernal-Escobar, Adriana & Cuervo, Rafael & Pinzon, Gonzalo & Higinio, Jorge, 2013. "Derretimiento y Retroceso Glaciar: Entendiendo la Percepción de los Hogares Agrícolas que se Enfrentan a los Desafíos del Cambio Climático," Documentos CEDE Series 161358, Universidad de Los Andes, Economics Department.
    7. Lars P. Feld, 2007. "Ex Interim Voting: An Experimental Study of Referendums for Public-Good Provision. Comment," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(1), pages 75-80, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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