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A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections

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  • Laurent Bouton

Abstract

This paper analyzes the properties of runoff electoral systems when voters are strategic. A model of three-candidate runoff elections is presented, and two new features are included: the risk of upset victory in the second round is endogenous, and many types of runoff systems are considered. Three main results emerge. First, runoff elections produce equilibria in which only two candidates receive a positive fraction of the votes. Second, a sincere voting equilibrium does not always exist. Finally, runoff systems with a threshold below 50 percent produce an Ortega effect that may lead to the systematic victory of the Condorcet loser.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
Pages: 1248-88

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:4:p:1248-88

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.4.1248
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  1. Laurent Bouton & Gabriele Gratton, 2013. "Majority Runoff Elections: Strategic Voting and Duverger's Hypothesis," Discussion Papers 2013-23, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  2. Torun Dewan & David P. Myatt, 2006. "Leading the Party:Coordination, Direction, and Communication," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 22, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Roger B. Myerson, 1998. "Comparison of Scoring Rules in Poisson Voting Games," Discussion Papers 1214, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. David P. Myatt, 2000. "The New Theory of Strategic Voting," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1586, Econometric Society.
  5. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira, 2012. "One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(1), pages 43-87, 01.
  6. Roger B. Myerson, 1994. "Population Uncertainty and Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1102, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Voting as Communicating," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 169-91, January.
  8. César Martinelli, 2002. "Simple plurality versus plurality runoff with privately informed voters," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 901-919.
  9. DE SINOPOLI, Francesco, . "Sophisticated voting and equilibrium refinements under plurality rule," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1467, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  11. Stephen Wright & William Riker, 1989. "Plurality and runoff systems and numbers of candidates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 155-175, February.
  12. Fujiwara, Thomas, 2011. "A Regression Discontinuity Test of Strategic Voting and Duverger's Law," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 6(3–4), pages 197-233, November.
  13. Carlos Eduardo S. Gonçalves & Ricardo A. Madeira & Mauro Rodrigues, 2011. "Two-ballot versus plurality rule: an empirical investigation on the number of candidates," Working Papers 0112, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. MANIQUET, François & MORELLI, Massimo & ,, 2013. "Approval quorums dominate participation quorums," CORE Discussion Papers 2013054, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Martin Gregor, 2013. "The Optimal Ballot Structure for Double-Member Districts," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp493, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  3. Massimo Bordignon & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Moderating Political Extremism: Single Round vs Runoff Elections under Plurality Rule," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza ief0087, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  4. Laurent Bouton & Gabriele Gratton, 2013. "Majority Runoff Elections: Strategic Voting and Duverger's Hypothesis," Discussion Papers 2013-23, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  5. Francesco De Sinopoli & Claudia Meroni & Carlos Pimienta, 2014. "Strategic Stability in Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 2014-09, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  6. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira, 2012. "One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(1), pages 43-87, 01.
  7. Carlos Eduardo S. Gonçalves & Mauro Rodrigues Jr., Ricardo A. Madeira, 2012. "Heterogeneity, electoral rules and the number of candidates: an empirical investigation using a quasi-natural experiment," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2012_25, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
  8. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira De Moura & A. Llorente-Saguer, 2012. "Divided Majority and Information Aggregation: Theory and Experiment," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/136800, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Steven J Brams & D Marc Kilgour, 2012. "Narrowing the field in elections: The Next-Two rule," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(4), pages 507-525, October.
  10. P. Amorós & Ricardo Martínez & M. Socorro Puy, 2013. "The closed primaries versus the top-two primary," Economics Working Papers we1319, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  11. Leonzio Rizzo & Alberto Zanardi, 2012. "Single vs double ballot and party coalitions: the impact on fiscal policy. Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 2012/33, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).

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