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Minorities and Storable Votes

In: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Alessandra Casella

    (Columbia University, Greqam, NBER, CEPR, USA)

  • Thomas Palfrey

    (Caltech, USA)

  • Raymond Riezman

    (University of lowa, GEP, CES-ifo, USA)

Abstract

AbstractThe paper studies a simple voting system that can increase the power of minorities without sacrificing aggregate efficiency or treating voters asymmetrically. Storable votes grant each voter a stock of votes to spend as desired over a series of binary decisions and thus elicit voters' intensity of preferences. The potential of the mechanism is particularly clear in the presence of systematic minorities: by accumulating votes on issues that it deems most important, the minority can win occasionally. But because the majority typically can outvote it, the minority wins only if its strength of preference is high and the majority's strength of preference is low. The result is that the minority's preferences are represented, while aggregate efficiency either falls little or in fact rises, relative to simple majority voting. The theoretical predictions of our model are confirmed by a series of experiments: the frequency of minority victories, the relative payoff of the minority versus the majority, and the aggregate payoffs all match the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandra Casella & Thomas Palfrey & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Minorities and Storable Votes," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 15, pages 247-282 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:wschap:9789814390125_0015
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Casella, Alessandra & Gelman, Andrew & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2006. "An experimental study of storable votes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 123-154, October.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:01:p:127-144_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2012. "Qualitative voting," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(4), pages 526-554, October.
    4. Casella, Alessandra, 2005. "Storable votes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 391-419, May.
    5. Paul R. Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1985. "Distributional Strategies for Games with Incomplete Information," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 10(4), pages 619-632, November.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:02:p:413-418_21 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Trade; Political Economy; Theory of International Free Trade Agreements; Customs Unions; Tariff Dynamics; Storable Votes;

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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