Public Choice 1 (172):175-192 (2017)
AbstractThis paper explores ethical issues raised by quadratic voting. We compare quadratic voting to majority voting from two ethical perspectives: the perspective of utilitarianism and that of democratic theory. From a utilitarian standpoint, the comparison is ambiguous: if voter preferences are independent of wealth, then quadratic voting out- performs majority voting, but if voter preferences are polarized by wealth, then majority voting may be superior. From the standpoint of democratic theory, we argue that assess- ments in terms of efficiency are too narrow. Voting institutions and political institutions more generally face a legitimacy requirement. We argue that in the presence of inequalities of wealth, any vote buying mechanism, including quadratic voting, will have a difficult time meeting this requirement.
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Citations of this work
Proportionality without Inequality: Defending Lifetime Political Equality through Storable Votes.Manuel Sá Valente - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-18.