Department of Economics
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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|November 2012||Democracy Undone. Systematic Minority Advantage in Competitive Vote Markets|
with Alessandra Casella: w18573
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.
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
|February 2012||Vote Trading With and Without Party Leaders|
with Alessandra Casella, Thomas Palfrey: w17847
Two groups of voters of known sizes disagree over a single binary decision to be taken by simple majority. Individuals have different, privately observed intensities of preferences and before voting can buy or sell votes among themselves for money. We study the implication of such trading for outcomes and welfare when trades are coordinated by the two group leaders and when they take place anonymously in a competitive market. The theory has strong predictions. In both cases, trading falls short of full efficiency, but for opposite reasons: with group leaders, the minority wins too rarely; with market trades, the minority wins too often. As a result, with group leaders, vote trading improves over no-trade; with market trades, vote trading can be welfare reducing. All predictions are strongl...
Published: Journal of Public Economics Volume 112, April 2014, Pages 115–128 Cover image Vote trading with and without party leaders ☆ Alessandra Casellaa, b, c, , , Thomas Palfreyb, d, , Sébastien Turband, citation courtesy of