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Stress-Testing the Runoff Rule in the Laboratory

Author

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  • Nikolas Tsakas
  • Dimitrios Xefteris

Abstract

When a majority of voters has common values, but private information, then the runoff rule always admits an equilibrium that aggregates information strictly better than the best equilibrium of the plurality rule. But there are cases in which the plurality rule supports equilibria that are strictly better compared to certain undominated equilibria of the runoff rule. Is there any risk with applying the runoff rule in these situations? We conduct a laboratory experiment and we show that the runoff rule consistently delivers better outcomes than the plurality rule even in such unfavorable scenarios. This establishes that the superiority of the runoff rule over the plurality rule in empirical settings outperforms its theoretical advantages.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikolas Tsakas & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2019. "Stress-Testing the Runoff Rule in the Laboratory," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 10-2019, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:10-2019
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    File URL: http://papers.econ.ucy.ac.cy/RePEc/papers/10-19.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2016. "Divided majority and information aggregation: Theory and experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 114-128.
    6. Ahn, David S. & Oliveros, Santiago, 2016. "Approval voting and scoring rules with common values," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 304-310.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    runoff voting; plurality rule; information aggregation; Condorcet jury theorem; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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