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Minorities and Storable Votes

  • Casella, Alessandra
  • Palfrey, Thomas
  • Riezman, Raymond

The paper studies a simple voting system that has the potential to increase the power of minorities without sacrificing aggregate efficiency. The storable votes mechanism grants each voter a stock of votes to spend as desired over a series of binary decisions. By accumulating 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 preference is high and the majority's strength of preference is low. The result is that with storable votes, aggregate efficiency either falls little or in fact rises. The theoretical predictions of our model 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.

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Paper provided by Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy in its series Papers with number 09-19-2005b.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:prirpe:09-19-2005b
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://weblamp.princeton.edu/rppe/papers/papers.php

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  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. Casella, Alessandra, 2002. "Storable Votes," CEPR Discussion Papers 3508, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2012. "Qualitative voting," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(4), pages 526-554, October.
  4. Paul Milgrom & Robert Weber, 1981. "Distributional Strategies for Games with Incomplete Information," Discussion Papers 428R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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