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How democracy resolves conflict in difficult games

Author

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  • Brams, Steven J.
  • Kilgour, D. Marc

Abstract

Democracy resolves conflicts in difficult games like Prisoners’ Dilemma and Chicken by stabilizing their cooperative outcomes. It does so by transforming these games into games in which voters are presented with a choice between a cooperative outcome and a Pareto-inferior noncooperative outcome. In the transformed game, it is always rational for voters to vote for the cooperative outcome, because cooperation is a weakly dominant strategy independent of the decision rule and the number of voters who choose it. Such games are illustrated by 2-person and n-person public-goods games, in which it is optimal to be a free rider, and a biblical story from the book of Exodus.

Suggested Citation

  • Brams, Steven J. & Kilgour, D. Marc, 2008. "How democracy resolves conflict in difficult games," MPRA Paper 12751, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12751
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/12751/1/MPRA_paper_12751.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. I. D. Hill, 2008. "Mathematics and Democracy: Designing Better Voting and Fair-division Procedures," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 171(4), pages 1032-1033.
    2. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521555838 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter J. Wood, 2010. "Climate Change and Game Theory: A Mathematical Survey," CCEP Working Papers 0210, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Democracy; voting; social choice; public goods; game theory; Prisoners' Dilemma; Bible;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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