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Majority voting with stochastic preferences: the whims of a committee are smaller than the whims of its members

  • Pierre-Guillaume Méon

This note studies the volatility of the policy chosen by a committee whose members’ preferences are volatile, due to common and individual preferences shocks. It is shown that majority voting mitigates the latter but not the former. The volatility of the policy is smaller the smaller the volatility of members’ preferences, smaller the larger the size of the committee, and smaller than if it was chosen by a single member. The results hold in a context of uncertainty and with multidimensional issues.

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File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/8434/1/pgm-0041.pdf
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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series DULBEA Working Papers with number 06-05.RS.

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Length: 12 p.
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by: DULBEA - Université libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles
Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:06-05rs
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://difusion.ulb.ac.be

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  1. McKelvey, Richard D. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1985. "Elections with limited information: A fulfilled expectations model using contemporaneous poll and endorsement data as information sources," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 55-85, June.
  2. McKelvey, Richard D, 1979. "General Conditions for Global Intransitivities in Formal Voting Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1085-1112, September.
  3. Andrew Caplin & Barry Nalebuff, 1990. "Aggregation and Social Choice: A Mean Voter Theorem," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 938, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Schofield, Norman, 2002. "Representative democracy as social choice," Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, in: K. J. Arrow & A. K. Sen & K. Suzumura (ed.), Handbook of Social Choice and Welfare, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 425-455 Elsevier.
  5. Greenberg, Joseph, 1979. "Consistent Majority Rules over Compact Sets of Alternatives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 627-36, May.
  6. McKelvey, Richard D. & Schofield, Norman, 1986. "Structural instability of the core," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 179-198, June.
  7. Schofield, Norman, 1978. "Instability of Simple Dynamic Games," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 575-94, October.
  8. Sapir, Andre & Sekkat, Khalid, 1999. "Optimum electoral areas: Should Europe adopt a single election day?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1595-1619, August.
  9. Slutsky, Steven, 1977. "A voting model for the allocation of public goods: Existence of an equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 299-325, April.
  10. Matsen, Egil & Roisland, Oistein, 2005. "Interest rate decisions in an asymmetric monetary union," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 365-384, June.
  11. Schofield, Norman, 1977. "Transitivity of preferences on a smooth manifold of alternatives," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 149-171, February.
  12. Davis, Otto A & DeGroot, Morris H & Hinich, Melvin J, 1972. "Social Preference Orderings and Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(1), pages 147-57, January.
  13. McKelvey, Richard D., 1976. "Intransitivities in multidimensional voting models and some implications for agenda control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 472-482, June.
  14. Schofield, N. & Tovey, C.A., 1992. "Probability and Convergence for Supramajority rule with Euclidean Preferences," Papers 163, Washington St. Louis - School of Business and Political Economy.
  15. Banks, Jeffrey S., 1995. "Singularity theory and core existence in the spatial model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 523-536.
  16. Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
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