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The Benefits of Costly Voting

  • Surajeet Chakravarty

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

  • Todd R. Kaplan

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter and Department of Economics, University of Haifa)

  • Gareth Myles

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter and)

We present a costly voting model in which each voter has a private valuation for their preferred outcome of a vote. When there is a zero cost to voting, all voters vote and hence all values are counted equally regardless of how high they may be. By having a cost to voting, only those with high enough values would choose to incur this cost. Hence, the outcome will be determined by voters with higher valuations. We show that in such a case welfare may be enhanced. Such an effect occurs when there is both a large enough density of voters with low values and a high enough expected value.

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File URL: http://people.exeter.ac.uk/cc371/RePEc/dpapers/DP1005.pdf
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Paper provided by Exeter University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 1005.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:1005
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  1. Bulkley, G. & Myles, G.D. & Pearson, B.R., 2000. "On the Membership of Decision-Making Committees," Discussion Papers 0009, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  2. Jeffrey S. Rosenthal & Martin J. Osborne & Matthew A. Turner, 2000. "Meetings with Costly Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 927-943, September.
  3. Amrita Dhillon & Susana Peralta, 2002. "Economic Theories Of Voter Turnout," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F332-F352, June.
  4. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
  5. Sayantan Ghosal & Ben Lockwood, 2009. "Costly voting when both information and preferences differ: is turnout too high or too low?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 25-50, June.
  6. Bagnoli, M. & Bergstrom, T., 1989. "Log-Concave Probability And Its Applications," Papers 89-23, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  7. Amy King & Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Are Ballot Order Effects Heterogeneous?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(1), pages 71-87.
  8. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2009. "Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 275-291, May.
  9. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
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