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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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File URL: http://www.econ.columbia.edu/RePEc/pdf/DP0304-01.pdf
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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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