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Democracy Undone: Systematic Minority Advantage in Competitive Vote Markets

Alessandra M. Casella; Sebastien Turban

Title:
Democracy Undone: Systematic Minority Advantage in Competitive Vote Markets
Author(s):
Casella, Alessandra M.
Turban, Sebastien
Date:
Type:
Working papers
Department:
Economics
Permanent URL:
Series:
Department of Economics Discussion Papers
Part Number:
1213-10
Publisher:
Department of Economics, Columbia University
Publisher Location:
New York
Abstract:
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 demand 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.
Subject(s):
Economics
Item views:
126
Metadata:
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