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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Casella, Alessandra & Palfrey, Thomas R & Riezman, Raymond, 2005. "Minorities and Storable Votes," CEPR Discussion Papers 5278, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5278

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Casella, Alessandra, 2005. "Storable votes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 391-419, May.
    4. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2012. "Qualitative voting," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(4), pages 526-554, October.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:02:p:413-418_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    experiments; minorities; tyranny of the majority; voting;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • K19 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Other


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