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Choosing How to Choose: Self Stable Majority Rules

  • Salvador Barbera

    (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

  • Matthew O. Jackson

    (California Institute of Technology)

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.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 0211003.

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Date of creation: 04 Nov 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0211003
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  1. Torsten Persson, 2002. "Do Political Institutions Shape Economic Policy?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 883-905, May.
  2. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  3. 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.
  4. Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004. "Voting on Majority Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132.
  5. Danilo Coelho, 2005. "Maximin choice of voting rules for committees," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 159-175, 07.
  6. Caplin, Andrew S & Nalebuff, Barry J, 1988. "On 64%-Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 787-814, July.
  7. Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto & Trebbi, Francesco, 2004. "Endogenous Political Institutions," Scholarly Articles 4481498, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
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