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An Experimental Study of Voting with Costly Delay

Author

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  • Kwiek, Maksymilian

    () (University of Southampton)

  • Marreiros, Helia

    () (University of Southampton)

  • Vlassopoulos, Michael

    () (University of Southampton)

Abstract

A conclave is a voting mechanism in which a committee selects an alternative by voting until a sufficient supermajority is reached. We study experimentally welfare properties of simple three-voter conclaves with privately known preferences over two outcomes and waiting costs. The resulting game is a form of multiplayer war of attrition. Our key finding is that, consistent with theoretical predictions, when voters are ex ante heterogeneous in terms of the intensity of their preferences the conclave leads to efficiency gains relative to simple majority voting. We also compare welfare properties of a static versus a dynamic version of a conclave. When social cost of waiting is taken into account, the dynamic conclave is superior in terms of welfare than its static version.

Suggested Citation

  • Kwiek, Maksymilian & Marreiros, Helia & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2015. "An Experimental Study of Voting with Costly Delay," IZA Discussion Papers 9336, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9336
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    Keywords

    voting; supermajority; intensity of preferences; war of attrition;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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