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Exploring Voting Anomalies Using a Demand Revealing Random Price Voting Mechanism

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Abstract

Recent papers show that in group decisions individuals have social preferences for efficiency and equity. However, the effect of social preferences on voting, the predominant funding mechanism for public goods, has not been thoroughly examined. This study investigates whether voting decisions are affected by the distribution of net benefits associated with a proposed public program using a new Random Price Voting Mechanism (RPVM). Theoretical and econometric analysis of experimental results presented in the paper suggest that observed differences from selfish voting are caused by a concern for social efficiency, and that voting may be more efficient than previously thought.

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WP 2006-22 October 2006

JEL Classification Codes: C91; C92; D64; D72; H41

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2006-10-01

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Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

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