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The dark side of the vote: Biased voters, social information, and information aggregation through majority voting

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  • Morton, Rebecca B.
  • Piovesan, Marco
  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

Abstract

We experimentally investigate information aggregation through majority voting when some voters are biased. In such situations, majority voting can have a dark side, that is, result in groups making choices inferior to those made by individuals acting alone. In line with theoretical predictions, information on the popularity of policy choices is beneficial when a minority of voters are biased, but harmful when a majority is biased. In theory, information on the success of policy choices elsewhere de-biases voters and alleviates the inefficiency. However, in the experiment, providing social information on success is ineffective and does not de-bias voters.

Suggested Citation

  • Morton, Rebecca B. & Piovesan, Marco & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2013. "The dark side of the vote: Biased voters, social information, and information aggregation through majority voting," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-209, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmbh:spii2013209
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bernado Moreno & María del Pino Ramos-Sosa & Ismael Rodríguez-Lara, 2016. "Conformity, information and truthful voting," Working Papers 2016-01, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.
    2. repec:spr:sochwe:v:53:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s00355-019-01182-w is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bernardo Moreno & María del Pino Ramos-Sosa & Ismael Rodriguez-Lara, 2019. "Conformity and truthful voting under different voting rules," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 53(2), pages 261-282, August.
    4. Pogorelskiy, Kirill & Shum, Matthew, 2019. "News We Like to Share: How News Sharing on Social Networks Influences Voting Outcomes," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 427, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Condorcet Jury Theorem; information aggregation; majority voting; social information;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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