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An experimental study of storable votes

  • Alessandra Casella

    ()

    (Columbia University - Department of Economics)

  • Andrew Gelman

    ()

    (Columbia University - Department of Statistics and Department of Political Science)

  • Thomas R. Palfrey

    ()

    (California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences)

The storable votes mechanism is a method of voting for committees that meet periodically to consider a series of binary decisions. Each member is allocated a fixed budget of votes to be cast as desired over the multiple decisions. Voters are induced to spend more votes on those decisions that matter to them most, shifting the ex ante probability of winning away from decisions they value less and towards decisions they value more, typically generating welfare gains over standard majority voting with non-storable votes. The equilibrium strategies have a very intuitive featurehe number of votes cast must be monotonic in the vote intensity of preferencesut are otherwise difficult to calculate, raising questions of practical implementation. In our experiments, realized efficiency levels were remarkably close to theoretical equilibrium predictions, while subjects adopted monotonic but off-equilibrium strategies. We are lead to conclude that concerns about the complexity of the game may have limited practical relevance.

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Paper provided by Columbia University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 0304-01.

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Length: 73 pages
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clu:wpaper:0304-01
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  1. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  2. Alessandra Casella & Thomas Palfrey & Raymond Riezman, 2005. "Minorities and Storable Votes," NBER Working Papers 11674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alessandra Casella, 2002. "Storable votes," Discussion Papers 0102-71, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  4. Mueller, Dennis C., 1978. "Voting by veto," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 57-75, August.
  5. McKelvey, Richard D. & Palfrey, Thomas R. & Weber, Roberto A., 2000. "The effects of payoff magnitude and heterogeneity on behavior in 2 x 2 games with unique mixed strategy equilibria," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 523-548, August.
  6. d'Aspremont, Claude & Cremer, Jacques & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1990. "Incentives and the existence of Pareto-optimal revelation mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 233-254, August.
  7. Paul Milgrom & Robert Weber, 1981. "Distributional Strategies for Games with Incomplete Information," Discussion Papers 428R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Casella, Alessandra & Gelman, Andrew & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2003. "An Experimental Study of Storable Votes," Working Papers 1173, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  9. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
  10. Philipson, Tomas J & Snyder, James M, Jr, 1996. " Equilibrium and Efficiency in an Organized Vote Market," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(3-4), pages 245-65, December.
  11. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
  12. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000232, David K. Levine.
  13. Richard D. Mckelvey & Thomas R. Palfrey, 1996. "A Statistical Theory Of Equilibrium In Games," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 186-209, 06.
  14. Jeffrey S. Rosenthal & Martin J. Osborne & Matthew A. Turner, 2000. "Meetings with Costly Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 927-943, September.
  15. Moulin, H, 1982. "Voting with Proportional Veto Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 145-62, January.
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