Garbled Elections

40 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2007

See all articles by Patrick W. Schmitz

Patrick W. Schmitz

University of Cologne; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Thomas Tröger

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

Date Written: November 2006

Abstract

Majority rules are frequently used to decide whether or not a public good should be provided, but will typically fail to achieve an efficient provision. We provide a worst-case analysis of the majority rule with an optimally chosen majority threshold, assuming that voters have independent private valuations and are ex-ante symmetric (provision cost shares are included in the valuations). We show that if the population is large it can happen that the optimal majority rule is essentially no better than a random provision of the public good. But the optimal majority rule is worst-case asymptotically efficient in the large-population limit if (i) the voters' expected valuation is bounded away from 0, and (ii) an absolute bound for valuations is known.

Keywords: Majority rule, public goods

JEL Classification: D72, D82

Suggested Citation

Schmitz, Patrick W. and Tröger, Thomas, Garbled Elections (November 2006). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5958. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=954749

Patrick W. Schmitz (Contact Author)

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://schmitz.uni-koeln.de/index.php?s=mitarbeiter&t=schmitz

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Thomas Tröger

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

Postfach 2220
D-53012 Bonn
Germany

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