One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation

44 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2008

See all articles by Laurent Bouton

Laurent Bouton

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Micael Castanheira

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: February 2008

Abstract

This paper compares the properties of three electoral systems when voters have imperfect information. Imperfect information blurs voter decisions and may divorce the electoral outcome from the true preferences of the electorate. The challenge for electoral design is therefore to translate the (sometimes contradictory) elements of information dispersed in the electorate into the most efficient aggregate outcome. We propose a novel model of multi-candidate elections in Poisson games, and show that Approval Voting produces a unique equilibrium that is fully efficient: the candidate who wins the election is the one preferred by a majority of the electorate under full information. By contrast, traditional systems such as Plurality and Runoff elections cannot cope satisfactorily with information imperfections.

Keywords: Approval Voting, Information Aggregation, Multicandidate Elections, Poisson Games

JEL Classification: C72, D72, D81, D82

Suggested Citation

Bouton, Laurent and Castanheira, Micael, One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation (February 2008). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6695, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1141017

Laurent Bouton

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) ( email )

CP 132 Av FD Roosevelt 50
Brussels, Brussels 1050
Belgium

Micael Castanheira (Contact Author)

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium
+32 2 650 4467 (Phone)
+32 2 650 3369 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
497
PlumX Metrics