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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Majority Voter Requirements with Asymmetric-payoff Elections

Status Complete
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 07/01/2008
End Date 06/30/2009
Funding Source Undergraduate Research Grant
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 07/01/2009 11:25PM
Keywords voting, majority requirements


  James Murphy

Student Researchers
  Peter Bradley, Stephen Deutsch, Dax Ehrhart


Plurality voting is the most commonly used system if voting around the world but it has many flaws. Majority required voting systems have been proposed as a superior alternative. Game theoretic modeling supports majority requirements as a way to equal or increase the social welfare within a system when compared to the plurality approach by allowing greater coordination amongst undecided voters in elections with more than two candidates. We ran experiments with 6 groups of 14 subjects recruited through the University of Alaska Anchorage Experimental Economics Laboratory to improve the empirical understanding of the theories surrounding these two voting systems. Subjects were assigned to one of three groups. Each group had their own unique set of payouts based on which candidate won the election. Past research had two of the three groups with symmetric pay offs and equal members. Our experiments had two groups with symmetric payoffs but unequal members. We find that, when using past research as a comparison, users coordinate better in plurality elections when the groups have asymmetric members.

Specific Aims
We will test the plurality and majority required voting system in a controlled lab setting using subject assigned preferences. We expect to find an increase in strategic voting under an asymmetric voter distribution in both the plurality and majority required elections. Specifically, the group with fewer voters will vote for their counterparts, the group with a symmetric pay off structure but more members.

Shared Project Files (e.g. papers, presentations)

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Majority Voter Requirements with Asymmetric.docFinal Report for Undergraduate Research Grantassmd25