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Choosing How Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules

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  • Jackson, Matthew O.
  • Barbera, Salvador

Abstract

We consider the endogenous choice of a voting rule, characterized by the majority size needed to elect change over the status quo, by a society who will use the rule to make future decisions. Under simple assumptions on the uncertainty concerning the future alternatives that will be voted upon, voters' have induced preferences over voting rules that are single-peaked and intermediate. We explore the existence of self-stable voting rules, i.e., voting rules such that there is no alternative rule that would beat the given voting rule if the given voting rule is used to choose between the rules. There are situations where self-stable voting rules do not exist. We explore conditions that guarantee existence, as well as issues relating to efficiency and constitutional design.
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Suggested Citation

  • Jackson, Matthew O. & Barbera, Salvador, 2002. "Choosing How Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules," Working Papers 1145, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:clt:sswopa:1145
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Torsten Persson, 2002. "Do Political Institutions Shape Economic Policy?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 883-905, May.
    2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
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    4. Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004. "Voting on Majority Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132.
    5. Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
    6. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 565-611.
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    9. Danilo Coelho, 2005. "Maximin choice of voting rules for committees," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 159-175, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Goyal, Sanjeev & Staal, Klaas, 2004. "The political economy of regionalism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 563-593, June.
    2. Lagunoff, Roger, 2009. "Dynamic stability and reform of political institutions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 569-583, November.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 565-611.
    4. Toke S Aidt & Francesco Giovannoni, 2004. "Constitutional Rules," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/109, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    5. Salvador Barberà, 2003. "Designing Decisions Rules for Transnational Infraestructure Projects," Working Papers 61, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    6. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel A. Ballester & Rosa Ferrer, 2006. "On the justice of voting systems," Economics Working Papers 987, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    7. Schmitz, Patrick W. & Tröger, Thomas, 2012. "The (sub-)optimality of the majority rule," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 651-665.
    8. Giovanni Maggi & Massimo Morelli, 2006. "Self-Enforcing Voting in International Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1137-1158, September.
    9. Nicolas Houy, 2006. "La Constitution européenne est 50,13 %-stable. Une note comparative sur la stabilité des Constitutions," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(1), pages 123-134.
    10. Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2006. "On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogeneous Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 317-339, April.
    11. Roger Lagunoff (Georgetown University), 2005. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    12. Ernesto Dal Bo, 2002. "Supermajority Voting Rules: Balancing Commitment and Flexibility," Economics Series Working Papers 132, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    13. Ulrich Erlenmaier & Hans Gersbach, 2001. "Flexible Majority Rules," CESifo Working Paper Series 464, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Ani Guerdjikova & Levon Barseghyan, 2008. "Private Incentives versus Class Interests: A Theory of Optimal Institutions with An Application to Growth," 2008 Meeting Papers 939, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Dal Bo, Ernesto, 2006. "Committees with supermajority voting yield commitment with flexibility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 573-599, May.
    16. Danny Ben-Shahar & Eyal Sulganik, 2005. "Can Co-Owners Agree to Disagree? A Theoretical Examination of Voting Rules in Co-Ownerships," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 207-223, September.
    17. SLINKO, Arkadii & KORAY, Semih, 2006. "Self-Selective Social Choice Functions," Cahiers de recherche 2006-21, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    18. Dragan Filipovich & Jaume Sempere, 2008. "Constitutions as self-enforcing redistributive schemes," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 103-129, May.
    19. Roger Lagunoff, 2004. "The Dynamic Reform of Political Institutions," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 47, Econometric Society.
    20. Barseghyan, Levon & Guerdjikova, Ani, 2011. "Institutions and growth in limited access societies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 528-568, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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