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Majority voting leads to unanimity

Geir Asheim (), Carl Claussen and Tore Nilssen ()

No 02/2005, Memorandum from Oslo University, Department of Economics

Abstract: We consider a situation where society decides, through majority voting in a secret ballot, between the alternatives of ‘reform’ and ‘status quo’. Reform is assumed to create a minority of winners, while being efficient in the Kaldor-Hicks sense. We explore the consequences of allowing binding transfers between voters conditional on the chosen alternative. In particular, we establish conditions under which the winners wish to compensate all losers, thus leading to unanimity for reform, rather than compensating some losers to form a non-maximal majority. The analysis employs concepts from cooperative game theory.

Keywords: voting; reform; status quo; Kaldor-Hicks sense; chosen alternative; unanimity for reform; cooperative game theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C71 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 26 pages
Date: 2005-01-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-gth
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Published in International Journal of Game Theory, 2006, pages 91-110.

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