DP16012 Minority Turnout and Representation under Cumulative Voting. An experiment.

Author(s): Alessandra Casella, Jeffrey Da-Ren Guo, Michelle Jiang
Publication Date: April 2021
Keyword(s): costly voting, Laboratory experiments, minority protection, Turnout, voting
JEL(s): C92, D72, K16
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16012

Under majoritarian election systems, securing participation and representation of minorities remains an open problem, made salient in the US by its history of voter suppression. One remedy recommended by the courts is Cumulative Voting (CV): each voter has as many votes as open positions and can cumulate votes on as few candidates as desired. Theory predicts that CV encourages the minority to overcome obstacles to voting: although each voter is treated equally, CV increases minority's turnout relative to the majority, and the minority's share of seats won. A lab experiment based on a costly voting design strongly supports both predictions.