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Vote Trading with and Without Party Leaders

61 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2012  

Alessandra Casella

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Thomas R. Palfrey

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Sebastien Turban

California Institute of Technology - Economics

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Date Written: February 2012

Abstract

Two groups of voters of known sizes disagree over a single binary decision to be taken by simple majority. Individuals have different, privately observed intensities of preferences and before voting can buy or sell votes among themselves for money. We study the implication of such trading for outcomes and welfare when trades are coordinated by the two group leaders and when they take place anonymously in a competitive market. The theory has strong predictions. In both cases, trading falls short of full efficiency, but for opposite reasons: with group leaders, the minority wins too rarely; with market trades, the minority wins too often. As a result, with group leaders, vote trading improves over no-trade; with market trades, vote trading can be welfare reducing. All predictions are strongly supported by experimental results.

Suggested Citation

Casella, Alessandra and Palfrey, Thomas R. and Turban, Sebastien, Vote Trading with and Without Party Leaders (February 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w17847. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2007840

Alessandra Casella (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.columbia.edu/~ac186/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Thomas R. Palfrey

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

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626-395-4088 (Phone)
626-4432-1726 (Fax)

Sebastien Turban

California Institute of Technology - Economics ( email )

United States
6263954289 (Phone)

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