Pendular Voting

34 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2021 Last revised: 19 Jun 2021

See all articles by Volker Britz

Volker Britz

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

Hans Gersbach

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

Date Written: May 1, 2021

Abstract

We introduce a democratic procedure with voting-based proposals called ”Pendular Voting”. It works as follows: An agenda-setter chooses a proposal meant to replace a given status quo. In the first stage, a random sample of the population votes on the proposal. The result is made public, which may reveal information about the distribution of preferences in the electorate. Depending on the outcome, a third option (next to the proposal and the status quo) is added: This option is either closer to or more distant from the status quo than the original proposal. Then, in a second stage the entire electorate expresses pairwise social preferences over the status quo, the initial proposal, and the third option. We investigate the manipulability and exploitation of this voting procedure and its welfare effects. We show that manipulation is limited or absent and that exploitation can be avoided. Regardless of whether the agenda-setter is altruistic or selfish, Pendular Voting leads to welfare gains in expectation.

Keywords: Democracy, Manipulation, Information Sharing, Referendum

JEL Classification: C72, D70, D72

Suggested Citation

Britz, Volker and Gersbach, Hans, Pendular Voting (May 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3856921 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3856921

Volker Britz

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

Zürichbergstrasse 18
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland

Hans Gersbach (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Research ( 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

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