Balanced Voting

CER-ETH – Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich Working Paper 15/209

81 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2015

See all articles by Hans Gersbach

Hans Gersbach

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Kamali Wickramage

ETH Zürich - CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 22, 2015

Abstract

We introduce 'Balanced Voting', a new voting scheme that is particularly suitable for making fundamental societal decisions. Such decisions typically involve subgroups that are strongly in favor of, or against, a new fundamental direction, and others that care much less. In a two-stage procedure, Balanced Voting works as follows: Citizens may abstain from voting on a fundamental direction in a first stage. In a second voting stage, this guarantees them a voting right on the variations of the fundamental direction chosen in the first. All 'losers' from the first stage also obtain voting rights in the second stage, while 'winners' do not. We develop a model with two fundamental directions for which stakes are high for some individuals and with private information about preferences among voters. We demonstrate that Balanced Voting is superior to simple majority voting, Storable Votes and Minority Voting with regard to utilitarian welfare if the voting body is sufficiently large. Moreover, the outcome under Balanced Voting is Pareto-dominant to the outcome under simple majority voting and Minority Voting. We discuss several aspects that need to be considered when Balanced Voting is applied in practice. We also suggest how Balanced Voting could be applied to elections.

Keywords: Balanced Voting, fundamental decision, tyranny of majority, minority protection

JEL Classification: D7

Suggested Citation

Gersbach, Hans and Wickramage, Kamali, Balanced Voting (January 22, 2015). CER-ETH – Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich Working Paper 15/209. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2553971 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2553971

Hans Gersbach

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 82 80 (Phone)
+41 44 632 18 30 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Kamali Wickramage (Contact Author)

ETH Zürich - CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland

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