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Voting as a Lottery

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  • Attanasi, Giuseppe Marco
  • Corazzini, Luca
  • Passarelli, Francesco

Abstract

Voting is a lottery in which an individual who is uncertain about how the others vote wins if she belongs to the majority or loses if she falls into the minority. The risk of losing can be reduced by increasing the majority threshold. This however has the negative effect of also lowering the chance to win. We find that an individual prefers higher majority thresholds when she is more risk averse, less powerful, or less optimistic about the chance that others will vote like her. De facto, raising the majority threshold is a form of protection against the higher risk of being tyrannized by an unfavorable majority. We include these preferences for majority thresholds in a Nash bargaining game that describes constitutional negotiations over voting rules. Individuals that largely avert the risk of being tyrannized behave reluctantly during negotiations, and succeed in getting higher protection through a threshold raise.

Suggested Citation

  • Attanasi, Giuseppe Marco & Corazzini, Luca & Passarelli, Francesco, 2010. "Voting as a Lottery," TSE Working Papers 09-116, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Nov 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:22207
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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Attanasi & Luca CORAZZINI & Nikolaos GEORGANTZIS & Francesco PASSARELLI, 2009. "Risk Aversion, Over-Confidence and Private Information as determinants of Majority Thresholds," LERNA Working Papers 09.26.302, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    2. Barberà, Salvador & Coelho, Danilo, 2017. "Balancing the power to appoint officers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 189-203.
    3. Giuseppe Attanasi & Luca Corazzini & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Francesco Passarelli, 2014. "Special Section: Experiments on Learning, Methods, and Voting," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 355-386, August.
    4. Francesco Passarelli, 2011. "Risky Political Changes: Rational Choice vs Prospect Theory," ISLA Working Papers 39, ISLA, Centre for research on Latin American Studies and Transition Economies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    majority rule; supermajority; risk aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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