What impact do majority rule and unanimity rule have on welfare and decision costs? According to Buchanan and Tullock ( 1999) the unanimity principle must be regarded as a democratic norm, because it guarantees Pareto-efficient welfare effects. We present experimental results from a public goods game, which demonstrate in contrast to this assumption that majority rule can produce greater welfare effects than unanimity rule. This result suggests a critical revision of theoretical approaches which narrow the legitimacy of majority rule in this respect.
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