The Winner-Take-All Dilemma

ISER Discussion Paper No. 1059

47 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2019 Last revised: 18 Dec 2019

See all articles by Kazuya Kikuchi

Kazuya Kikuchi

Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University

Yukio Koriyama

Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 16, 2019

Abstract

This paper considers collective decision-making when individuals are partitioned into groups (e.g., states or parties) endowed with voting weights. We study a game in which each group chooses an internal rule that specifies the allocation of its weight to the alternatives as a function of its members' preferences. We show that under quite general conditions, the game is a Prisoner's Dilemma: while the winner-take-all rule is a dominant strategy, the equilibrium is Pareto dominated. We also show asymptotic Pareto dominance of the proportional rule. Our numerical computation for the US Electoral College verifies the sensibility of the asymptotic results.

Keywords: representative democracy, winner-take-all rule, proportional rule

JEL Classification: C72, D70, D72

Suggested Citation

Kikuchi, Kazuya and Koriyama, Yukio, The Winner-Take-All Dilemma (December 16, 2019). ISER Discussion Paper No. 1059, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3425621 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3425621

Kazuya Kikuchi (Contact Author)

Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University ( email )

6-1 Mihogaoka, Ibaraki
Osaka 567-0047
Japan

Yukio Koriyama

Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau - Department of Economics ( email )

Route de Saclay
Palaiseau, 91120
France

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