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

  • Engelmann, Dirk
  • Grüner, Hans Peter

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.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9544.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9544
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  1. Segal, Ilya R. & Whinston, Michael D., 2011. "A simple status quo that ensures participation (with application to efficient bargaining)," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(1), January.
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  9. Loukas Balafoutas & Martin G. Kocher & Louis Putterman & Matthias Sutter, 2010. "Equality, Equity and Incentives: An Experiment," Working Papers 2010-26, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  10. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2010. "A within-subject analysis of other-regarding preferences," DICE Discussion Papers 06, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
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  15. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2002. "Simple contracts, renegotiation under asymmetric information, and the hold-up problem," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 169-188, January.
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