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Preventing the Tyranny of the Majority - Experimental Evidence on the Choice of Voting Thresholds in Bayesian Games

Author

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  • Engelmann, Dirk
  • Grüner, Hans Peter
  • Hoffmann, Timo
  • Possajennikov, Alex

Abstract

In democracies, an absolute majority of the population may choose policies that are harmful to the rest of the population. A purpose of super-majority rules is to prevent this from happening. We study whether individuals optimally choose sub- or super-majority rules when the rights of minorities should be protected. Subjects propose more extreme voting rules for more skewed distributions, but we also find that rule choices are biased towards balanced rules, leading substantial welfare losses.

Suggested Citation

  • Engelmann, Dirk & Grüner, Hans Peter & Hoffmann, Timo & Possajennikov, Alex, 2017. "Preventing the Tyranny of the Majority - Experimental Evidence on the Choice of Voting Thresholds in Bayesian Games," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168295, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc17:168295
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/168295/1/VfS-2017-pid-3621.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dirk Engelmann & Veronika Grimm, 2012. "Mechanisms for Efficient Voting with Private Information about Preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 1010-1041, September.
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    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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