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Contribution Details

Type Working Paper
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Pivotality and responsibility attribution in sequential voting
Organization Unit
  • Björn Bartling
  • Urs Fischbacher
  • Simeon Schudy
  • English
Institution University of Zurich
Series Name Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number 138
ISSN 1664-7041
Number of Pages 23
Date 2015
Abstract Text This paper analyzes responsibility attributions for outcomes of collective decision making processes. In particular, we ask if decision makers are blamed for being pivotal if they implement an unpopular outcome in a sequential voting process. We conduct an experimental voting game in which decision makers vote about the allocation of money between themselves and recipients without voting rights. We measure responsibility attributions for voting decisions by eliciting the monetary punishment that recipients assign to individual decision makers. We find that pivotal decision makers are punished significantly more for an unpopular voting outcome than non-pivotal decision makers. Our data also suggest that some voters avoid being pivotal by voting strategically in order to delegate the pivotal vote to subsequent decision makers.
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Keywords Collective decision making, responsibility attribution, voting, pivotality, delegation, experiment, Entscheidungstheorie, Kollektiventscheidung, Gruppenentscheidung, Verantwortlichkeit, Stimmrecht, Wahlrecht
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