Vote Trading in Power-Sharing Systems: A Laboratory Investigation
33 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018
Date Written: October 5, 2018
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: Suggested Citation