Agendas and Strategic Voting
This paper describes a simple classroom experiment in which students decide which projects to fund on the basis of majority voting. Several agendas are used to generate a voting cycle and an inefficiently high level of public spending. Classroom discussion allows students to discover for themselves how to manipulate outcomes through agenda design and strategic voting. The exercise leads naturally to a discussion of political institutions and the size of government. Use: This experiment can be used in introductory and public economics classes to teach concepts of voting cycles and inefficiencies in public choice. Time required: Twenty minutes for reading instructions and taking votes and 15 minutes for discussion. Materials: A printout of the instructions for each participant and one deck of ordinary playing cards for each group of seven voters.
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Volume (Year): 65 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
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