A Caltech Library Service

Minorities and Storable Votes

Casella, Alessandra and Palfrey, Thomas R. and Riezman, Raymond (2008) Minorities and Storable Votes. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 3 (2). pp. 165-200. ISSN 0033-5533. doi:10.1561/100.00007048.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The paper studies a simple voting system that can increase the power of minorities without sacrificing aggregate efficiency or treating voters asymmetrically. Storable votes grant each voter a stock of votes to spend as desired over a series of binary decisions and thus elicit voters' strength of preferences. The potential of the mechanism is particularly clear in the presence of systematic minorities: by accumulating votes on issues that it deems most important, the minority can win occasionally. But because the majority typically can outvote it, the minority wins only if its strength of preference is high and the majority's strength of preference is low. The result is that the minority's preferences are represented, while aggregate efficiency either falls little or in fact rises, relative to simple majority voting. The theoretical predictions of our model are confirmed by a series of experiments: the frequency of minority victories, the relative payoff of the minority versus the majority, and the aggregate payoffs all match the theory.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper Paper
Palfrey, Thomas R.0000-0003-0769-8109
Additional Information:© 2008 now publishers inc. MS submitted 24 October 2007; final version received 16 April 2008. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation, PLESS, CASSEL, and SSEL. We acknowledge helpful comments from participants of the Conference in Tribute to Jean-Jacques Laffont in Toulouse, the Econometric Society World Congress, and seminars at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Georgetown, NYU, the University of Venice, the European University Institute, and CORE.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Caltech Social Science Experimental LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
Princeton Lab for Experimental Social Science (PLESS)UNSPECIFIED
California Social Science Experimental Laboratory (CASSEL)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Voting theory, Democracy, Representation, Formal modelling
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
NBER Working Paper11674
Social Science Working Paper1261
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160301-142311084
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Alessandra Casella, Thomas Palfrey and Raymond Riezman (2008), "Minorities and Storable Votes", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 3: No. 2, pp 165-200.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64930
Deposited On:02 Mar 2016 01:06
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:37

Repository Staff Only: item control page