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An optimal Voting System when Voting is costly

Author

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  • Bognar, Katalin
  • Börgers, Tilman
  • Meyer-ter-Vehn, Moritz

Abstract

We consider the design of an optimal voting system when voting is costly. For a private values model with two alternatives we show the optimality of a voting system that combines three elements: (i) there is an arbitrarily chosen default decision and non-participation is interpreted as a vote in favor of the default; (ii) voting is sequential; (iii) not all voters are invited to participate in the vote. We show the optimality of such a voting system by first arguing that it is first best, that is, it maximizes welfare when incentive compatibility constraints are ignored, and then showing that individual incentives and social welfare are sufficiently aligned to make the first best system incentive compatible. The analysis in this paper involves some methods that are new to the theory of mechanism design, and it is also a purpose of this paper to explore these new methods.

Suggested Citation

  • Bognar, Katalin & Börgers, Tilman & Meyer-ter-Vehn, Moritz, 2010. "An optimal Voting System when Voting is costly," MPRA Paper 29123, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29123
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/29123/1/MPRA_paper_29123.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gershkov, Alex & Szentes, Balázs, 2009. "Optimal voting schemes with costly information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 36-68, January.
    2. Sayantan Ghosal & Ben Lockwood, 2009. "Costly voting when both information and preferences differ: is turnout too high or too low?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 33(1), pages 25-50, June.
    3. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
    4. Celik Gorkem & Yilankaya Okan, 2009. "Optimal Auctions with Simultaneous and Costly Participation," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-33, July.
    5. Stegeman, Mark, 1996. "Participation Costs and Efficient Auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 228-259, October.
    6. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401, January.
    7. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2005. "Information in Mechanism Design," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1532, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    8. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2009. "Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 275-291, May.
    9. Myerson, Roger B, 1986. "Multistage Games with Communication," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(2), pages 323-358, March.
    10. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 2002. "Information Acquisition and Efficient Mechanism Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1007-1033, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:sochwe:v:50:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1087-z is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Marco Faravelli & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2015. "(Don’t) Make My Vote Count," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 27(4), pages 544-569, October.
    3. Grüner, Hans Peter & Tröger, Thomas, 2018. "Linear voting rules," Working Papers 18-01, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    4. Dirk Bergemann & Alessandro Pavan, 2015. "Introduction to JET Symposium Issue on "Dynamic Contracts and Mechanism Design"," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2016, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    5. Grüner, Hans Peter & Tröger, Thomas, 2016. "Optimal voting mechanisms with costly participation and abstention," CEPR Discussion Papers 11127, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voting; mechanism design; committees.;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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