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Tailored Bayesian Mechanisms: Experimental Evidence from Two-Stage Voting Games

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  • Engelmann, Dirk
  • Grüner, Hans Peter

Abstract

Optimal voting rules have to be adjusted to the underlying distribution of preferences. However, in practice there usually is no social planner who can perform this task. This paper shows that the introduction of a stage at which agents may themselves choose voting rules according to which they decide in a second stage may increase the sum of individuals’ payoffs if players are not all completely selfish. We run three closely related experimental treatments (plus two control treatments) to understand how privately informed individuals decide when they choose voting rules and when they vote. Efficiency concerns play an important role on the rule choice stage whereas selfish behavior seems to dominate at the voting stage. Accordingly, in an asymmetric setting groups that can choose a voting rule do better than those who decide with a given simple majority voting rule.

Suggested Citation

  • Engelmann, Dirk & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2013. "Tailored Bayesian Mechanisms: Experimental Evidence from Two-Stage Voting Games," CEPR Discussion Papers 9544, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9544
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hoffmann, Timo & Renes, Sander, 2016. "Flip a coin or vote : an Experiment on choosing group decision," Working Papers 16-11, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    2. Grüner, Hans Peter, 2015. "Optimal Mechanisms for the Control of Fiscal Deficits," CEPR Discussion Papers 10440, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Grüner, Hans Peter, 2014. "Optimal mechanisms for the control of fiscal deficits," Working Paper Series 1708, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bayesian voting experiments; revelation principle.; Two-stage voting;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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