On Robust Constitution Design
University of Toulouse I - Advanced Research in Quantitative Applied Development Economics (ARQADE); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
Robert J. Gary-Bobo
University of Cergy-Pontoise - THEMA; Institut Universitaire de France; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
CEPR Discussion Paper No. 3303
We study a class of representation mechanisms, based on reports made by a random subset of agents, called representatives, in a collective choice problem with quasi-linear utilities. We do not assume the existence of a common prior probability describing the distribution of preference types. In addition, there is no benevolent planner. An individual who cannot be assumed impartial, a self-interested executive, will carry out decisions. These assumptions impose new constraints on Mechanism Design. A robust mechanism is defined as maximizing expected welfare under a vague prior probability distribution, and over a set of mechanisms which is at the same time immune from opportunistic manipulations by the executive, and compatible with truthful revelation of preferences by representatives. Robust mechanisms are characterized and their existence is shown. Sampling Groves mechanisms are shown to be robust.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: Collective choice, incomplete information, mechanism design, representative democracy
JEL Classification: D70, D80, H00working papers series
Date posted: May 9, 2002
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