Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Altruism and voting: A large-turnout result that does not rely on civic duty or cooperative behavior

Contents:

Author Info

  • Evren, Özgür

Abstract

I propose a game-theoretic model of costly voting that predicts significant turnout rates even when the electorate is arbitrarily large. The model has two key features that jointly drive the result: (i) some agents are altruistic (or ethical), (ii) among the agents who prefer any given candidate, the fraction of altruistic agents is uncertain. When deciding whether to vote or not, an altruistic agent compares her private voting cost with the expected contribution of her vote to the welfare of the society. Under suitable homogeneity assumptions, the asymptotic predictions of my model coincide with those of Feddersen and Sandroni [12] up to potential differences between the respective parameters that measure the importance of the election. I demonstrate with an example that these homogeneity assumptions are not necessary for qualitative predictions of my model. I also show that when the fractions of altruistic agents are known, turnout rates will typically be close to zero in a large election, despite the presence of altruism.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022053112000981
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 147 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 2124-2157

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:147:y:2012:i:6:p:2124-2157

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

Related research

Keywords: Altruism; Utilitarianism; Voting; Turnout; Pivotal voter; Aggregate uncertainty;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Roger B. Myerson, 1997. "Large Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1189, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  3. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 625018000000000232, www.najecon.org.
  4. Chamberlain, Gary & Rothschild, Michael, 1981. "A note on the probability of casting a decisive vote," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 152-162, August.
  5. Fischer, A J, 1999. " The Probability of Being Decisive," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 101(3-4), pages 267-83, December.
  6. Herrera, Helios & Martinelli, Cesar, 2006. "Group formation and voter participation," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(4), pages 461-487, December.
  7. Aaron Edlin & Andrew Gelman & Noah Kaplan, 2007. "Voting as a Rational Choice: Why and How People Vote to Improve the Well-Being of Others," NBER Working Papers 13562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
  9. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "The calculus of ethical voting," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 1-25, December.
  10. Marco Faravelli & Randall Walsh, 2011. "Smooth Politicians and Paternalistic Voters: A Theory of Large Elections," NBER Working Papers 17397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
  12. Barry Nalebuff & Roni Shachar, 1997. "Follow The Leader: Theory And Evidence On Political Participation," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm57, Yale School of Management.
  13. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
  14. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Marco Faravelli & Priscilla Man & Randall Walsh, 2012. "Mandate and Paternalism: A Theory of Large Elections," Discussion Papers Series 474, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  2. Marco Faravelli & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2012. "(Don’t) Make My Vote Count," Discussion Papers Series 464, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  3. Pedro Robalo & Arthur Schram & Joep Sonnemans, 2013. "Other-regarding Preferences, Group Identity and Political Participation: An Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-079/I, Tinbergen Institute.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:147:y:2012:i:6:p:2124-2157. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.