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Choosing How to Choose: Self Stable Majority Rules

Author

Listed:
  • Salvador Barbera

    (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

  • Matthew O. Jackson

    (California Institute of Technology)

Abstract

We consider the endogenous choice of a voting rule, characterized by the majority size needed to elect change over the status quo, by a society who will use the rule to make future decisions. Under simple assumptions on the uncertainty concerning the future alternatives that will be voted upon, voters' have induced preferences over voting rules that are single-peaked and intermediate. We explore the existence of self-stable voting rules, i.e., voting rules such that there is no alternative rule that would beat the given voting rule if the given voting rule is used to choose between the rules. There are situations where self-stable voting rules do not exist. We explore conditions that guarantee existence, as well as issues relating to efficiency and constitutional design.

Suggested Citation

  • Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2002. "Choosing How to Choose: Self Stable Majority Rules," Microeconomics 0211003, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0211003
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Torsten Persson, 2002. "Do Political Institutions Shape Economic Policy?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 883-905, May.
    2. Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004. "Voting on Majority Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132.
    3. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 565-611.
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    6. Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
    7. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-330, March.
    8. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Convicting the Innocent: The Inferiority of Unanimous Jury Verdicts," Discussion Papers 1170, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    9. Danilo Coelho, 2005. "Maximin choice of voting rules for committees," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 159-175, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lagunoff, Roger, 2009. "Dynamic stability and reform of political institutions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 569-583, November.
    2. Toke S Aidt & Francesco Giovannoni, 2004. "Constitutional Rules," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/109, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    3. Salvador Barberà, 2003. "Designing Decisions Rules for Transnational Infraestructure Projects," Working Papers 61, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    4. Roger Lagunoff (Georgetown University), 2005. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    5. Schmitz, Patrick W. & Tröger, Thomas, 2012. "The (sub-)optimality of the majority rule," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 651-665.
    6. Salvador Barbera & Matthew O. Jackson, 2006. "On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogeneous Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 317-339, April.
    7. Goyal, Sanjeev & Staal, Klaas, 2004. "The political economy of regionalism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 563-593, June.
    8. Ani Guerdjikova & Levon Barseghyan, 2008. "Private Incentives versus Class Interests: A Theory of Optimal Institutions with An Application to Growth," 2008 Meeting Papers 939, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. SLINKO, Arkadii & KORAY, Semih, 2006. "Self-Selective Social Choice Functions," Cahiers de recherche 2006-21, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
    10. Philippe Aghion & Alberto Alesina & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 565-611.
    11. Dragan Filipovich & Jaume Sempere, 2008. "Constitutions as self-enforcing redistributive schemes," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 103-129, May.
    12. Roger Lagunoff, 2004. "The Dynamic Reform of Political Institutions," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 47, Econometric Society.
    13. Barseghyan, Levon & Guerdjikova, Ani, 2011. "Institutions and growth in limited access societies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 528-568, March.
    14. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel A. Ballester & Rosa Ferrer, 2006. "On the justice of voting systems," Economics Working Papers 987, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    15. Giovanni Maggi & Massimo Morelli, 2006. "Self-Enforcing Voting in International Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1137-1158, September.
    16. Nicolas Houy, 2006. "La Constitution européenne est 50,13 %-stable. Une note comparative sur la stabilité des Constitutions," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(1), pages 123-134.
    17. Ernesto Dal Bo, 2002. "Supermajority Voting Rules: Balancing Commitment and Flexibility," Economics Series Working Papers 132, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    18. Ulrich Erlenmaier & Hans Gersbach, 2001. "Flexible Majority Rules," CESifo Working Paper Series 464, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Dal Bo, Ernesto, 2006. "Committees with supermajority voting yield commitment with flexibility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 573-599, May.
    20. Danny Ben-Shahar & Eyal Sulganik, 2005. "Can Co-Owners Agree to Disagree? A Theoretical Examination of Voting Rules in Co-Ownerships," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 207-223, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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