Vote or shout

Surajeet Chakravarty, Todd R. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine an environment with n voters, each with a private value over two alternatives. We compare the social surplus of two mechanisms for deciding between them: majority voting and shouting. In majority voting, the choice with the most votes wins. With shouting, the voter who shouts the loudest (sends the costliest wasteful signal) chooses the outcome. We find that it is optimal to use voting in the case where n is large and the value for each particular alternative of the voters is bounded. For other cases, the superior mechanism is depends upon the order statistics of the distribution of values.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42
JournalB.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • lobbying
  • order statistics
  • voting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)


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