NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Jie Shen

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June 2008Protecting Minorities in Binary Elections: A Test of Storable Votes Using Field Data
with Alessandra Casella, Shuky Ehrenberg, Andrew Gelman: w14103
Democratic systems are built, with good reason, on majoritarian principles, but their legitimacy requires the protection of strongly held minority preferences. The challenge is to do so while treating every voter equally and preserving aggregate welfare. One possible solution is Storable Votes: granting each voter a budget of votes to cast as desired over multiple decisions. During the 2006 student elections at Columbia University, we tested a simple version of this idea: voters were asked to rank the importance of the different contests and to choose where to cast a single extra "bonus vote," had one been available. We used these responses to construct distributions of intensities and electoral outcomes, both without and with the bonus vote. Bootstrapping techniques provided estima...

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