Linear Voting Rules

85 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2016 Last revised: 15 Jan 2018

See all articles by Hans Peter Gruener

Hans Peter Gruener

University of Mannheim

Thomas Tröger

University of Bonn - Institute of Economic Theory III - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 2016

Abstract

How should a society choose between two social alternatives if participation in the decision process is voluntary and costly and monetary transfers are not feasible? Considering symmetric voters with private valuations, we show that it is utilitarian-optimal to use a linear voting rule: votes get alternative-dependent weights, and a default obtains if the weighted sum of votes stays below some threshold. Standard quorum rules are not optimal. We develop a perturbation method to characterize equilibria in the case of small participation costs and show that leaving participation voluntary increases welfare for linear rules that are optimal under compulsory participation.

Keywords: compulsory voting, costly voting, mechanisms design, optimal voting rules, quorum rules

Suggested Citation

Gruener, Hans Peter and Tröger, Thomas, Linear Voting Rules (February 2016). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11127. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2766418

Hans Peter Gruener (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim ( email )

Universitaetsbibliothek Mannheim
Zeitschriftenabteilung
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Thomas Tröger

University of Bonn - Institute of Economic Theory III - Department of Economics ( email )

Postfach 2220
D-53012 Bonn
Germany

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