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The optimal majority with an endogenous status quo


  • Sam Bucovetsky



Using the voting procedure proposed by Baron (1996), the consequences are examined of changing the majority required to change legislation. When the majority required is greater than fifty percent, and when voters behave strategically, the first policy proposed (on a stationary equilibrium path) is never defeated subsequently. Which policy gets proposed first depends on which voter gets to make the first proposal. But increasing the required majority induces a mean–preserving spread on the distribution of these policies, if voters' types are distributed symmetrically. Thus before the voting procedure begins, voters would prefer unanimously to see the required majority reduced. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Sam Bucovetsky, 2003. "The optimal majority with an endogenous status quo," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(1), pages 131-148, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:21:y:2003:i:1:p:131-148
    DOI: 10.1007/s00355-003-0208-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yew-Kwang Ng, 1975. "Bentham or Bergson? Finite Sensibility, Utility Functions and Social Welfare Functions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 545-569.
    2. W. E. Armstrong, 1951. "Utility And The Theory Of Welfare," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(3), pages 259-271.
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    Cited by:

    1. Clara Ponsatí & Daniel Cardona, 2008. "Bargaining one-dimensional policies and the efficiency of super majority rules," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 762.09, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    2. Cardona, Daniel & Ponsati, Clara, 2011. "Uniqueness of stationary equilibria in bargaining one-dimensional policies under (super) majority rules," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 65-75, September.

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