Vote Trading in Power-Sharing Systems: A Laboratory Investigation

33 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018

See all articles by Nikolas Tsakas

Nikolas Tsakas

University of Cyprus - Department of Economics

Dimitrios Xefteris

University of Cyprus

Nicholas Ziros

University of Cyprus - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 5, 2018

Abstract

In theory, decentralized vote trading in power-sharing systems promotes: a) efficiency, by assigning greater decision-making power to individuals that care a lot about the election’s outcome, and b) dispersion of benefits, since even individuals that have little interest about the electoral result can profit by selling their votes. We experimentally test these intuitions in the laboratory and find that, indeed, allowing real subjects to trade votes for money in such systems increases collective welfare, and substantially redistributes it towards those that are less concerned about the election. Importantly, these findings hold true under alternative trading institutions, thus, reinforcing their empirical relevance.

Keywords: Vote Trading, Power Sharing, Experiment, Collective Welfare

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Tsakas, Nikolas and Xefteris, Dimitrios and Ziros, Nicholas, Vote Trading in Power-Sharing Systems: A Laboratory Investigation (October 5, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3261141 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3261141

Nikolas Tsakas (Contact Author)

University of Cyprus - Department of Economics ( email )

75 Kallipoleos Street
P.O. Box 20537
1678 Nicosia
Cyprus

Dimitrios Xefteris

University of Cyprus ( email )

75 Kallipoleos Street
P.O. Box 20537
1678 Nicosia
Cyprus

Nicholas Ziros

University of Cyprus - Department of Economics ( email )

75 Kallipoleos Street
P.O. Box 20537
1678 Nicosia
Cyprus

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