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Garbled Elections

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  • Schmitz, Patrick W
  • Tröger, Thomas

Abstract

Majority rules are frequently used to decide whether or not a public good should be provided, but will typically fail to achieve an efficient provision. We provide a worst-case analysis of the majority rule with an optimally chosen majority threshold, assuming that voters have independent private valuations and are ex-ante symmetric (provision cost shares are included in the valuations). We show that if the population is large it can happen that the optimal majority rule is essentially no better than a random provision of the public good. But the optimal majority rule is worst-case asymptotically efficient in the large-population limit if (i) the voters' expected valuation is bounded away from 0, and (ii) an absolute bound for valuations is known.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmitz, Patrick W & Tröger, Thomas, 2006. "Garbled Elections," CEPR Discussion Papers 5958, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5958
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yaron Azrieli, 2018. "The price of ‘one person, one vote’," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 50(2), pages 353-385, February.
    2. Yaron Azrieli & Semin Kim, 2014. "Pareto Efficiency And Weighted Majority Rules," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55, pages 1067-1088, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    majority rule; public goods;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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