Content-based agendas and qualified majorities in sequential voting

Andreas Kleiner, Benny Moldovanu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We analyze sequential, binary voting schemes in settings where several privately informed agents have single-peaked preferences over a finite set of alternatives, and we focus on robust equilibria that do not depend on assumptions about the players' beliefs about each other. Our main results identify two intuitive conditions on binary voting trees, ensuring that sincere voting at each stage forms an ex post perfect equilibrium. In particular, we uncover a strong rationale for content-based agendas: if the outcome should not be sensitive to beliefs about others, nor to the deployment of strategic skills, the agenda needs to be built "from the extremes to the middle" so that more extreme alternatives are both more difficult to adopt, and are put to vote before other, more moderate options. An important corollary is that, under simple majority, the equilibrium outcome of the incomplete information game is always the Condorcet winner. Finally, we aim to guide the practical design of schemes that are widely used by legislatures and committees and we illustrate our findings with several case studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1477-1506
Number of pages30
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Volume107
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Fingerprint

Agenda
Voting
Sincere voting
Perfect equilibrium
Voting scheme
Vote
Condorcet winner
Incomplete information
Single-peaked preferences
Legislatures
Rationale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

Content-based agendas and qualified majorities in sequential voting. / Kleiner, Andreas; Moldovanu, Benny.

In: American Economic Review, Vol. 107, No. 6, 01.06.2017, p. 1477-1506.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{ceaa744e3e284cfd9354a2c834a1f333,
title = "Content-based agendas and qualified majorities in sequential voting",
abstract = "We analyze sequential, binary voting schemes in settings where several privately informed agents have single-peaked preferences over a finite set of alternatives, and we focus on robust equilibria that do not depend on assumptions about the players' beliefs about each other. Our main results identify two intuitive conditions on binary voting trees, ensuring that sincere voting at each stage forms an ex post perfect equilibrium. In particular, we uncover a strong rationale for content-based agendas: if the outcome should not be sensitive to beliefs about others, nor to the deployment of strategic skills, the agenda needs to be built {"}from the extremes to the middle{"} so that more extreme alternatives are both more difficult to adopt, and are put to vote before other, more moderate options. An important corollary is that, under simple majority, the equilibrium outcome of the incomplete information game is always the Condorcet winner. Finally, we aim to guide the practical design of schemes that are widely used by legislatures and committees and we illustrate our findings with several case studies.",
author = "Andreas Kleiner and Benny Moldovanu",
year = "2017",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1257/aer.20160277",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "107",
pages = "1477--1506",
journal = "American Economic Review",
issn = "0002-8282",
publisher = "American Economic Association",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Content-based agendas and qualified majorities in sequential voting

AU - Kleiner, Andreas

AU - Moldovanu, Benny

PY - 2017/6/1

Y1 - 2017/6/1

N2 - We analyze sequential, binary voting schemes in settings where several privately informed agents have single-peaked preferences over a finite set of alternatives, and we focus on robust equilibria that do not depend on assumptions about the players' beliefs about each other. Our main results identify two intuitive conditions on binary voting trees, ensuring that sincere voting at each stage forms an ex post perfect equilibrium. In particular, we uncover a strong rationale for content-based agendas: if the outcome should not be sensitive to beliefs about others, nor to the deployment of strategic skills, the agenda needs to be built "from the extremes to the middle" so that more extreme alternatives are both more difficult to adopt, and are put to vote before other, more moderate options. An important corollary is that, under simple majority, the equilibrium outcome of the incomplete information game is always the Condorcet winner. Finally, we aim to guide the practical design of schemes that are widely used by legislatures and committees and we illustrate our findings with several case studies.

AB - We analyze sequential, binary voting schemes in settings where several privately informed agents have single-peaked preferences over a finite set of alternatives, and we focus on robust equilibria that do not depend on assumptions about the players' beliefs about each other. Our main results identify two intuitive conditions on binary voting trees, ensuring that sincere voting at each stage forms an ex post perfect equilibrium. In particular, we uncover a strong rationale for content-based agendas: if the outcome should not be sensitive to beliefs about others, nor to the deployment of strategic skills, the agenda needs to be built "from the extremes to the middle" so that more extreme alternatives are both more difficult to adopt, and are put to vote before other, more moderate options. An important corollary is that, under simple majority, the equilibrium outcome of the incomplete information game is always the Condorcet winner. Finally, we aim to guide the practical design of schemes that are widely used by legislatures and committees and we illustrate our findings with several case studies.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85021070675&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85021070675&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1257/aer.20160277

DO - 10.1257/aer.20160277

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85021070675

VL - 107

SP - 1477

EP - 1506

JO - American Economic Review

JF - American Economic Review

SN - 0002-8282

IS - 6

ER -