Aniol Llorente-Saguer (Queen Mary University of London) – Weighted Voting: Rule Complexity and Information Aggregation

Committees typically decide through voting. One of the challenges of the voting mechanism is to aggregate information when committee members have different quality of information. In such an environment, more complex rules allow voters to better aggregate information by endogenously allocating more decision power to members with better information. We consider two polar examples of voting rules in terms of complexity: majority voting and continuous voting (CV). We compare the mechanisms using laboratory experiments, and we also study participants’ preferences over these. We find that CV does better than majority voting on average, but the difference is lower than theoretically predicted. One of the significant departures from theory is that voters with intermediate information quality attach too much weight on their votes. Communication makes these differences over mechanisms disappear. Finally, despite the higher average welfare under CV, both rules get a similar support.
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