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Pivotality and Responsibility Attribution in Sequential Voting

  • Björn Bartling


    (Department of Economics, University of Zürich, Switzerland)

  • Urs Fischbacher


    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany, and TWI Kreuzlingen, Switzerland)

  • Simeon Schudy


    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

Are people blamed for being pivotal if they implement an unpopular outcome in a sequential voting process? We conduct an experimental voting game and analyze how pivotality affects responsibility attribution by parties who can be negatively affected by the voting outcome. We measure responsibility attribution by assigned punishment points and find that pivotal decision makers are blamed significantly more than non-pivotal decision makers. Moreover, we find that some voters avoid being pivotal by voting strategically to delegate the pivotal vote to subsequent decision makers.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Konstanz in its series Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz with number 2014-01.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 23 Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1401
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  1. Georg Kirchsteiger & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5899, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Björn Bartling & Urs Fischbacher, 2008. "Shifting the Blame: On Delegation and Responsibility," IEW - Working Papers 380, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Nouriel Roubini & Gerald D. Cohen, 1997. "Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510944, June.
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  10. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  12. Gilat Levy, 2005. "Decision making in committees: transparency, reputation and voting rules," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 543, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. Armin Falk & Nora Szech, 2013. "Organizations, Diffused Pivotality and Immoral Outcomes," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1305, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  14. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
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  16. David K. Levine, 1998. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
  17. Lucas C. Coffman, 2011. "Intermediation Reduces Punishment (and Reward)," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 77-106, November.
  18. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2004. "Voting when money and morals conflict: an experimental test of expressive voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1645-1664, July.
  19. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  20. Falk, Armin & Szech, Nora, 2013. "Organizations, diffused pivotality and immoral outcomes," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2013-303, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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