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Does Vote Trading Improve Welfare?

Abstract : Voters have strong incentives to increase their inuence by trading votes, a practice indeed believed to be common. But is vote trading welfare-improving or welfare-decreasing? We review the theoretical literature and, when available, its related experimental tests. We begin with the analysis of logrolling { the exchange of votes for votes, considering both explicit vote exchanges and implicit vote trades engineered by bundling issues in a single bill. We then focus on vote markets, where votes can be traded against a numeraire. We cover competitive markets, strategic market games, decentralized bargaining, and more centralized mechanisms, such as quadratic voting, where votes can be bought at a quadratic cost. We conclude with procedures allowing voters to shift votes across decisions { to trade votes with oneself only { such as storable votes or a modi_ed form of quadratic voting. We _nd that vote trading and vote markets are typically ine_cient; more encouraging results are obtained by allowing voters to allocate votes across decisions.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 4:52:00 PM
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Alessandra Casella, Antonin Macé. Does Vote Trading Improve Welfare?. 2020. ⟨halshs-02922012⟩



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