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Qualitative voting

Author

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  • Rafael Hortala-Vallve

    (London School of Economics, UK)

Abstract

Can we devise mechanisms that allow voters to express the intensity of their preferences when monetary transfers are forbidden? Can minorities be decisive over those issues they feel very strongly about? As opposed to the usual voting system (one person – one decision – one vote), we propose a voting system where each agent is endowed with a fixed number of votes that can be distributed freely among a set of issues that need to be approved or dismissed. Its novelty relies on allowing voters to express the intensity of their preferences in a simple manner. This voting system is optimal in a well-defined sense: in a strategic setting with two voters, two issues and preference intensities uniformly and independently distributed across possible values, Qualitative Voting Pareto dominates Majority Rule and, moreover, achieves the only exante optimal (incentive-compatible) allocation. The result also holds true with three voters, as long as the voters’ preferences towards the issues differ sufficiently.

Suggested Citation

  • Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2012. "Qualitative voting," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(4), pages 526-554, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jothpo:v:24:y:2012:i:4:p:526-554
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    alternatives to Majority Rule; conflict resolution; intensity problem; voting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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