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The Approximation of Efficient Public Good Mechanisms by Simple Voting Schemes

Ledyard, John O. and Palfrey, Thomas R. (2000) The Approximation of Efficient Public Good Mechanisms by Simple Voting Schemes. Social Science Working Paper, 1092. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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This paper compares the performance of simple voting rules, called referenda, to the performance of interim efficient mechanisms for the provision of a public good. In a referendum, voters simply vote for or against the provision of the public good, and production of the public good depends on whether or not the number of yes votes exceeds a prespecified threshold. Costs are shared equally. We show that in large populations for any interim efficient allocation rule, there exists a corresponding referendum that yields approximately the same total welfare when there are many individuals. Moreover, if there is a common value component to the voters’ preferences, then there is a unique approximating referendum.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
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Palfrey, Thomas R.0000-0003-0769-8109
Additional Information:Revised version. Original version dated to August 1999. This is a revision of a paper entitled "Voting is Approximately Optimal." We are grateful for the support of the National Science Foundation and of the New Millennium Program of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA. The second author is grateful for the hospitality and research support at LEI-CREST. We thank two anonymous referees for their comments. Published as Ledyard, John O. and Palfrey, Thomas R. (2002) The approximation of efficient public good mechanisms by simple voting schemes. Journal of Public Economics, 83 (2). pp. 153-171.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:public goods; interim efficiency; voting; simple mechanisms
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:1092
Classification Code:JEL: D61, D82, H41
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170808-142250579
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:79952
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:09 Aug 2017 18:41
Last Modified:22 Nov 2019 09:58

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