NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Democracy Undone. Systematic Minority Advantage in Competitive Vote Markets

Alessandra Casella, Sébastien Turban

NBER Working Paper No. 18573
Issued in November 2012
NBER Program(s):POL

We study the competitive equilibrium of a market for votes where voters can trade votes for a numeraire before making a decision via majority rule. The choice is binary and the number of supporters of either alternative is known. We identify a sufficient condition guaranteeing the existence of an ex ante equilibrium. In equilibrium, only the most intense voter on each side demands votes and each demands enough votes to alone control a majority. The probability of a minority victory is independent of the size of the minority and converges to one half, for any minority size, when the electorate is arbitrarily large. In a large electorate, the numerical advantage of the majority becomes irrelevant: democracy is undone by the market.

download in pdf format
   (730 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18573

Published: Casella, Alessandra & Turban, Sébastien, 2014. "Democracy undone. Systematic minority advantage in competitive vote markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 47-70. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Gaynor, Propper, and Seiler w18574 Free to Choose? Reform and Demand Response in the English National Health Service
Barro w4909 Democracy & Growth
Barro and Ursua w13940 Macroeconomic Crises since 1870
Duflo, Glennerster, and Kremer t0333 Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit
Casella w14487 Storable Votes and Agenda Order Control. Theory and Experiments
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us