Abortions, Brexit and Trees

29 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2019

See all articles by Benny Moldovanu

Benny Moldovanu

University of Bonn - Chair of Economic Theory II; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Andreas Kleiner

Arizona State University (ASU)

Date Written: December 2019

Abstract

We study how parliaments and other committees vote to select one out of several alternatives in situations where not all available options can be ordered along a "left-right" axis. Practically all democratic parliaments routinely use Sequential Binary Voting Procedures in order to select one of several alternatives. Which agendas are used in practice, and how should they be designed ? We assume that preferences are single-peaked on an arbitrary tree and we study convex agendas where, at each stage in the sequential, binary voting process, the tree of remaining alternatives is divided in two subtrees that are subjected to a binary Yes-No vote. In this wide class of situations we show that dynamic, strategic voting is congruent with sincere, unsophisticated voting even if agents are privately informed, and no matter what their beliefs about other voters are. We conclude the paper by illustrating the empirical implications of our results for two large case studies from Germany and from the UK.

Keywords: agenda, Revealed Preference, voting

JEL Classification: D02, D72, D82

Suggested Citation

Moldovanu, Benny and Kleiner, Andreas, Abortions, Brexit and Trees (December 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14183, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3504612

Benny Moldovanu

University of Bonn - Chair of Economic Theory II ( email )

Lennestrasse 37
53113 Bonn
Germany
+49 228 736395 (Phone)
+49 228 737940 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Andreas Kleiner (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

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