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Minorities and Storable Votes

  • Casella, Alessandra
  • Palfrey, Thomas R
  • Riezman, Raymond

The paper studies a simple voting system that has the potential to increase the power of minorities without sacrificing aggregate efficiency. Storable votes grant each voter a stock of votes to spend as desired over a series of binary decisions. By cumulating 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 preferences is high and the majority's strength of preferences is low. The result is that aggregate efficiency either falls slightly or in fact rises. The theoretical predictions 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.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5278.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5278
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  1. 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.
  2. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2007. "Qualitative Voting," Economics Series Working Papers 320, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Alessandra Casella, 2002. "Storable Votes," NBER Working Papers 9189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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