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Storable Votes

  • Alessandra Casella

Motivated by the need for more flexible decision-making mechanisms in the European Union, the paper proposes a simple but novel voting scheme for binary decisions taken by committees that meet regularly over time. At each meeting, committee members are allowed to store their vote for future use; the decision is then taken according to the majority of votes cast. The possibility of shifting votes intertemporally allows agents to concentrate their votes when preferences are more intense, and although the scheme will not in general achieve full efficiency, making votes storable typically leads to ex ante welfare gains. The analysis in the paper suggests that the result will hold if one of the following conditions is satisfied: (i) the number of voters is above a minimum threshold; (ii) preferences are not too polarized; (iii) the horizon is long enough.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9189.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9189.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Publication status: published as Casella, Alessandra. "Storable Votes," Games and Economic Behavior, 2005, v51(2,May), 391-419.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9189
Note: IFM PE
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  1. Susan Athey & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," Working papers 99-17, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1994. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Discussion Papers 1117, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Philipson, Tomas J & Snyder, James M, Jr, 1996. " Equilibrium and Efficiency in an Organized Vote Market," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(3-4), pages 245-65, December.
  4. Moulin, Herve, 1979. "Dominance Solvable Voting Schemes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1137-51, November.
  5. Dixit, A. & Grossmann, G.M. & Gul, F., 1998. "A Theory of Political Compromise," Papers 191, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  6. John Ledyard & Thomas Palfrey, 2003. "The Approximation of Efficient Public Good Mechanisms by Simple Voting Schemes," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000103, David K. Levine.
  7. Alessandra Casella & Andrew Gelman & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2003. "An Experimental Study of Storable Votes," NBER Working Papers 9982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
  9. Martin Osborne & Jeffry Rosenthal & Matthew A. Turner, 1998. "Meetings with costly participation," Working Papers mturner-98-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  10. Phelan, C. & Townsend, R.M., 1990. "Computing Multiperiod, Information-Constrained Optima," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-13, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  11. 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.
  12. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E Lucas, 2010. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2179, David K. Levine.
  13. Moulin, H, 1982. "Voting with Proportional Veto Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 145-62, January.
  14. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
  15. Townsend, Robert M, 1982. "Optimal Multiperiod Contracts and the Gain from Enduring Relationships under Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1166-86, December.
  16. Mueller, Dennis C., 1978. "Voting by veto," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 57-75, August.
  17. Alessandra Casella, 2002. "Storable Votes," NBER Working Papers 9189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Piketty, Thomas, 1999. "The information-aggregation approach to political institutions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 791-800, April.
  19. d'Aspremont, Claude & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1979. "Incentives and incomplete information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 25-45, February.
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