IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ucy/cypeua/13-2018.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Vote trading in power-sharing systems: A laboratory investigation

Author

Listed:
  • Nikolas Tsakas
  • Dimitrios Xefteris
  • Nicholas Ziros

Abstract

Vote trading in power-sharing systems—i.e., systems in which a voter’s utility with respect to the election’s outcome is proportional to the vote share of her favourite party—is, in theory, welfare improving. However, trading votes for money in majoritarian systems may have detrimental welfare effects, especially when voters’ preference intensities are similar (Casella et al., 2012). We use a laboratory experiment to test the effect of vote trading in each of these popular electoral systems on voter welfare and find strong evidence in support of the above intuitions: vote trading in power-sharing systems boosts aggregate welfare across all considered specifications, but it is not welfare improving in majoritarian systems. Importantly, and contrary to theoretical predictions, a substantial share of subjects consistently lose from vote trading even in power-sharing systems, indicating that its welfare effects are not unambiguous.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikolas Tsakas & Dimitrios Xefteris & Nicholas Ziros, 2018. "Vote trading in power-sharing systems: A laboratory investigation," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 13-2018, University of Cyprus Department of Economics, revised 25 Jul 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:13-2018
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://papers.econ.ucy.ac.cy/RePEc/papers/13-18.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2010. "The Swing Voter's Curse in the Laboratory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 61-89.
    2. Riker, William H. & Brams, Steven J., 1973. "The Paradox of Vote Trading," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 1235-1247, December.
    3. Casella, Alessandra & Turban, Sébastien, 2014. "Democracy undone. Systematic minority advantage in competitive vote markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 47-70.
    4. del Mercato, Elena L., 2006. "Existence of competitive equilibria with externalities: A differential viewpoint," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4-5), pages 525-543, August.
    5. Postlewaite, A & Schmeidler, David, 1978. "Approximate Efficiency of Non-Walrasian Nash Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 127-135, January.
    6. Shafer, Wayne & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1975. "Some theorems on the existence of competitive equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 83-93, August.
    7. Peck, James & Shell, Karl & Spear, Stephen E., 1992. "The market game: existence and structure of equilibrium," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 271-299.
    8. Nicolas Sahuguet & Nicola Persico, 2006. "Campaign spending regulation in a model of redistributive politics," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 28(1), pages 95-124, May.
    9. KOUTSOUGERAS, Leonidas C., 2009. "Convergence of strategic behavior to price taking," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2083, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    10. Francesco Sinopoli & Giovanna Iannantuoni, 2007. "A spatial voting model where proportional rule leads to two-party equilibria," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 35(2), pages 267-286, January.
    11. Jean-Marc Bonnisseau & Elena Mercato, 2010. "Externalities, consumption constraints and regular economies," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 44(1), pages 123-147, July.
    12. 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.
    13. Massimo Morelli, 2004. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 829-853.
    14. Elhanan Helpman & Gene M. Grossman, 1999. "Competing for Endorsements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 501-524, June.
    15. Humberto Llavador, 2006. "Electoral Platforms, Implemented Policies, and Abstention," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(1), pages 55-81, August.
    16. Alessandra Casella & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2012. "Competitive Equilibrium in Markets for Votes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(4), pages 593-658.
    17. Alejandro Saporiti, 2014. "Power sharing and electoral equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(3), pages 705-729, April.
    18. Dimitrios Xefteris & Nicholas Ziros, 2017. "Strategic Vote Trading in Power Sharing Systems," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 76-94, May.
    19. Levine, David K. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2007. "The Paradox of Voter Participation? A Laboratory Study," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 143-158, February.
    20. Jon X. Eguia & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2018. "Implementation by vote-buying mechanisms," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 04-2018, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    21. Martin Shubik & Jingang Zhao, 1990. "A Strategic Market Game of a Finite Economy with a Mutual Bank," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 961, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    22. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 2000. "Polarized platforms and moderate policies with checks and balances," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 1-20, January.
    23. Shapley, Lloyd S & Shubik, Martin, 1977. "Trade Using One Commodity as a Means of Payment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(5), pages 937-968, October.
    24. Richard McKelvey & Peter Ordeshook, 1980. "Vote trading: An experimental study," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 151-184, January.
    25. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, and Parliaments in Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967.
    26. Kenneth Koford, 1982. "Centralized vote-trading," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 245-268, January.
    27. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    28. Amir, Rabah & Bloch, Francis, 2009. "Comparative statics in a simple class of strategic market games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 7-24, January.
    29. Koutsougeras, Leonidas C., 2009. "Convergence of strategic behavior to price taking," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 234-241, January.
    30. Amir, Rabah & Sahi, Siddharta & Shubik, Martin & Yao, Shuntian, 1990. "A strategic market game with complete markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 126-143, June.
    31. Casella, Alessandra & Palfrey, Thomas & Turban, Sébastien, 2014. "Vote trading with and without party leaders," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 115-128.
    32. Helios Herrera & Massimo Morelli & Thomas Palfrey, 2014. "Turnout and Power Sharing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(574), pages 131-162, February.
    33. Konstantinos Matakos & Orestis Troumpounis & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2016. "Electoral Rule Disproportionality and Platform Polarization," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 60(4), pages 1026-1043, October.
    34. Samuel Merrill & James Adams, 2007. "The effects of alternative power-sharing arrangements: Do “moderating” institutions moderate party strategies and government policy outputs?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 413-434, June.
    35. Philipson, Tomas J & Snyder, James M, Jr, 1996. "Equilibrium and Efficiency in an Organized Vote Market," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(3-4), pages 245-265, December.
    36. Cox, James C & Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1988. "Theory and Individual Behavior of First-Price Auctions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 61-99, March.
    37. Austen-Smith, David & Banks, Jeffrey, 1988. "Elections, Coalitions, and Legislative Outcomes," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 405-422, June.
    38. André Blais & Jean-François Laslier & Karine van der Straeten, 2016. "Voting Experiments," Post-Print halshs-01388615, HAL.
    39. Steven P. Lalley & E. Glen Weyl, 2018. "Quadratic Voting: How Mechanism Design Can Radicalize Democracy," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 33-37, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bol, Damien & Matakos, Konstantinos & Troumpounis, Orestis & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2019. "Electoral rules, strategic entry and polarization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 178(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    vote trading; power sharing; experiment; social welfare;

    JEL classification:

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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucy:cypeua:13-2018. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://www.ucy.ac.cy/econ/en .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.