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Qualitative Voting

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  • Rafael Hortala-Vallve

Abstract

Can we devise mechanisms that allow voters to express the intensity of their preferences when monetary transfers are forbidden? Would we then be able to take account of how much voters wish the approval or dismissal of any particular issue? In such cases, would some minorities be able to decide over those issues they feel very strongly about? As opposed to the classical voting system (one person - one decision - one vote), we propose a new voting system where each agent is endowed with a fixed number of votes that can be distributed freely between a predetermined number of issues that must be approved or dismissed. Its novelty relies on allowing voters to express the intensity of their preferences in a simple manner. This voting system is optimal in a well-defined sense: in a setting with two voters, two issues and preference intensities uniformly and independently distributed across possible values, Qualitative Voting Pareto dominates Majority Rule and, moreover, achieves the only ex-ante optimal (incentive compatible) allocation. The result also holds true with three voters as long as the voters preferences towards the issue differ sufficiently.

Suggested Citation

  • Rafael Hortala-Vallve, 2007. "Qualitative Voting," Economics Series Working Papers 320, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:320
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voting; Intensity Problem; Alternatives to Majority Rule; Conflict Resolution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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