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Public Goods and Public Choice Discussion
You have to watch a ten minute video and answer 12 questions while watching the video. The attached document has everything you need would need to complete the task, including the links.Public Goods and Public Choice Student Activity Student Name: Lesson overview: Public choice economics is the study of how decisions are made in the public sector. In the private sector consumers and producers make decisions based on what is in their own self-interest. This produces many benefits to society; of course, at times some of our decisions have spillover costs affecting others (negative externalities). This is just one type of failure in the private market. Does collective decision-making in the public sector also have failures? In a democratic society, collective decision-making is generally accomplished through voting by citizens. There is Objectives: By the end of this lesson you will be able to • compare and contrast several popular voting methods. • judge whether various voting methods offer consistent results. Resources needed: internet connection, word processing software. Part A – Voting Systems and the Condorcet Paradox Part A Instructions – (Time needed: 30 minutes): Below is a link to an interesting video on voting and some of the paradoxes of voting. As you watch this ten-minute video, follow along with the steps below and answer the questions. Click on Voting Systems and the Condorcet Paradox. Step 01 (first two minutes of the video): Assume three voters all voting for their favorite color. The first (top voter in the diagram to the right) voter ranks her preferences as green, blue, purple. The second (middle voter) prefers blue first, then purple, then green. The third (bottom) voter prefers purple, then green, and lastly, blue. Question 01: If only two choices were voted on at a time, which color would win? If the vote was between… Green verses Blue Blue verses Purple Purple verses Green Then which color wins? However, this is unsatisfying, since pair-wise voting seems to give us a paradox. It doesn’t seem helpful if A is preferred to B, B is preferred to C, but C is preferred to A. This doesn’t seem logical. Microeconomics, Miller Unit 12 Page 1 Step 02 (starting at 2:05 in the video): Let’s develop a voting system that compares all the candidate colors at once. Assume we now have 55 voters writing in their ballots for their favorite of five colors. We will consider four different voting methods. Our 55 voters filled out their ballots as below. For example, 18 ballots had Green as the first choice, then red, then orange, finally purple and blue. This is the top, left, ballot immediately below. 12 ballots had blue as their first choice, and so on. Step 03 – Plurality Method or “First Past the Post” (starting at 3:00 in the video): We see green was the winner with 18 votes, followed by blue with 12. Answer the following questions for this method. Question 02: Green ended up the winner. How is the winner determined in this method? Question 03: Orange ended up the loser. Still, four voters had orange as their first preference followed by blue (see the bottom, left ballot). How many voters had orange followed by purple as their first two choices (see the bottom, right ballot)? How many total first place votes were there for orange? Microeconomics, Miller Unit 12 Page 2 Question 04: If you win a plurality of votes, does that mean you won a majority? a) Yes, winning a plurality guarantees you won over 50% of the votes b) No, for example, in a three-way race, if Green wins 38% of the vote, Blue wins 35% of the vote, and Red wins 27% of the vote, Green wins with a plurality, but not a majority of all votes cast. Step 04 – Two-Round Runoff Method (starting at 3:45 in the video): We see green was the winner with 18 votes, followed by blue with 12. But neither had a majority. Answer the following questions for this method. Question 05: Which color won in the “run off” election? a) Green b) Blue Georgia requires the winner get at least 50% of the vote. In this year’s special election for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, none of Georgia’s candidates got that many votes. Question 06: Which two of the following candidates will participate in the Georgia Senate runoff in January? See the table below. Candidate Percent of Vote Number of Votes 32.9% 1,609,706 25.9% 1,269,627 20% 977,704 6.6% 321,971 Raphael Warnock Democratic Party Kelly Loeffler Republican Party Doug Collins Republican Party Deborah Jackson Democratic Party Step 05 – Instant Runoff Method (starting at 4:45 in the video): Answer the following questions for this method. Question 07: Which color won in the “run off” election? a) Green b) Blue c) Purple Microeconomics, Miller Unit 12 Page 3 Step 06 – Borda Count Method (starting at 5:40 in the video): Answer the following questions for this method. Question 07: To the right is a single ballot by a voter. If we use the Borda Count Method with the first choice receiving 4 points and so on as described in the video, how many points will be awarded to the other colors? Fill in the table below. Color Point Count Green Blue Purple Red 4 Orange Question 08: The colors on the other ballots would be awarded points similarly and totaled to find a winner. Which color won using the Borda Count Method? a) Red b) Blue c) Purple Step 07 – Summary (starting at 6:35 in the video): Answer the following questions based on the rest of the video. Question 09: True or False: If we know each individual voters exact preferences for colors – in real life, some position on a political issue – then we can determine one single collective preference for the entire community of voters. a) True b) False Question 10: The Condorcet criterion, as given in this video, says the winning candidate should beat every other candidate in a head to head election – one on one election. Which of the four methods discussed obeyed the Condorcet criterion? a) b) c) d) e) Plurality Two-round runoff Instant runoff Borda Count None – they all failed the Condorcet criterion The last few minutes of the video discusses some viewer comments – you can skip this. But there are some resources from the video you may be interested in. Microeconomics, Miller Unit 12 Page 4 Question 11: In the introduction at the beginning of this activity, I asked does “collective decisionmaking in the public sector also have failures?” Based on this video you watched, is there a method of voting that can guarantee the preferences citizens have on some issue will be truly reflected in that vote? Write a sentence or two explanation. Step 08 – Maine Senate Race 2020: Click on the following article: One of the most competitive Senate races in the country could come down to ranked-choice voting by Clare Foran, CNN. Read through the article. Rank-choice voting is rare in the United States, but Maine is pioneering this type of voting method. Answer the following question: Question 12: Lisa Savage, who came in third place for Senate, encouraged her supporters to vote for which other candidate as their second choice? a) Susan Collins b) Sara Gideon c) Max Linn Question 13: Do you have any opinion on rank-choice voting? If there were more than two candidates on the ballot, would you like to rank them in your order of preference? In the end, Susan Collins won another term as Senator. Direct Internet Links If you have a problem with any of the links, try these direct links. You may wish to copy and paste them into your browser. The links are listed in the order referenced in this document: • • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoAnYQZrNrQ https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/03/politics/maine-ranked-choice-voting/index.html Microeconomics, Miller Unit 12 Page 5 …
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