Hearing the voice of future generations: A laboratory experiment of "Demeny voting"
Joint Workshop | 2015.12.28

Date & Time : 2015. 12. 28 (Mon) 13:30-

Location: Hokkaido University, Faculty of Letters, room E304

Speaker: Prof. Yoichi Hizen (Kochi University of Technology)

Participants: Susumu Ohnuma, Nobuyuki Takahashi, and others (total 10 participants)

Title: Hearing the voice of future generations: A laboratory experiment of "Demeny voting"

Abstract: We report the first experimental evidence on the effect of “Demeny voting,” wherein some people (e.g., parents) are given additional votes as proxy for the future generation (e.g., their children). In our experiment, three subjects are separated into the present and future generations, two of them regarded as the present generation. The present generation members are asked to determine the resource allocation between the present and future generations by majority voting. We compare voting behaviors and outcomes between ordinary majority voting (i.e., each of the two in the present generation has one vote) and Demeny voting (i.e., one of the two has two votes while the other has one vote). We obtain mixed evidence on whether the outcome of Demeny voting reflects the interest of the future generation. A remarkable finding is that half of the subjects who voted in favor of the future generation under ordinary voting reversed their decisions when they were given only one vote under Demeny voting; that is, they voted in favor of the present generation. This finding highlights the need, when planning to introduce Demeny voting, to consider the behaviors of not only people who are given additional votes but also those with only one vote. Finally, we compare voting behaviors between male and female subjects. We find that female subjects use their additional votes for the future generation more frequently than male subjects do, implying that women are less likely to abuse their proxy position than are men.

Related paper: http://www.souken.kochi-tech.ac.jp/seido/wp/SDES-2015-8.pdf

Asuka Murata, Assistant Professor of Center for Experimental Research in Social Sciences
e-mail: asukamurata@lynx.let.hokudai.ac.jp, tel: 011-706-230