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Pivotality and Responsibility Attribution in Sequential Voting

  • Björn Bartling
  • Urs Fischbacher
  • Simeon Schudy

Are people blamed for being pivotal if they implement an unpopular outcome in a sequential voting process? We conduct an experimental voting game and analyze how pivotality affects responsibility attribution by parties who can be negatively affected by the voting outcome. We measure responsibility attribution by assigned punishment points and find that pivotal decision makers are blamed significantly more than non-pivotal decision makers. Moreover, we find that some voters avoid being pivotal by voting strategically to delegate the pivotal vote to subsequent decision makers.

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Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universit�t Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 90.

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Date of creation: 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0090
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  1. Gilat Levy, 2005. "Decision making in committees: transparency, reputation and voting rules," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 543, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Margin Dufwenberg & Georg Kirchsteiger, 2001. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000090, David K. Levine.
  3. repec:oup:restud:v:79:y:2012:i:1:p:67-87 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 457, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2004. "Voting when money and morals conflict: an experimental test of expressive voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1645-1664, July.
  6. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Björn Bartling & Urs Fischbacher, 2008. "Shifting the Blame: On Delegation and Responsibility," IEW - Working Papers 380, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
  9. David K Levine, 1997. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2047, David K. Levine.
  10. Falk, Armin & Szech, Nora, 2013. "Organizations, Diffused Pivotality and Immoral Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 9522, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  12. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  14. Falk, Armin & Szech, Nora, 2013. "Organizations, diffused pivotality and immoral outcomes," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2013-303, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  15. Armin Falk & Nora Szech, 2013. "Organizations, Diffused Pivotality and Immoral Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 4300, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Alberto Alesina & Nouriel Roubini & Gerald D. Cohen, 1997. "Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510944, June.
  17. John R. Hamman & George Loewenstein & Roberto A. Weber, 2010. "Self-Interest through Delegation: An Additional Rationale for the Principal-Agent Relationship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1826-46, September.
  18. Lucas C. Coffman, 2011. "Intermediation Reduces Punishment (and Reward)," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 77-106, November.
  19. Falk, Armin & Szech, Nora, 2013. "Organizations, Diffused Pivotality and Immoral Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 7442, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  21. Armin Falk & Nora Szech, 2013. "Organizations, Diffused Pivotality and Immoral Outcomes," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1305, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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