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An Experimental Study of Voting Rules and Polls in Three-Candidate Elections

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  • Forsythe, Robert, et al

Abstract

We report the results of elections conducted in a laboratory setting, modeled on a three-candidate example due to Borda. By paying subjects conditionally on election outcomes, we create electorates with (publicly) known preferences. We compare the results of experiments with and without non-binding pre-election polls under plurality rule, approval voting, and Borda rule. We also refer to a theory of voting "equilibria," which makes sharp predictions concerning individual voter behavior and election outcomes. We find that Condorcet losers occasionally win regardless of the voting rule or presence of polls. Diverger's law (which asserts the predominance of two candidates) appears to hold under plurality rule, but close three-way races often arise under approval voting and Borda rule. Voters appear to poll and vote strategically. In elections, voters usually cast votes that are consistent with a single equilibrium, although that equilibrium varies by experimental group and voting rule. Coauthors are Thomas Rietz, Roger Myerson, and Robert Weber.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Journal of Game Theory.

Volume (Year): 25 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 355-83

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jogath:v:25:y:1996:i:3:p:355-83

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Cited by:
  1. Kei Kawai & Yasutora Watanabe, 2013. "Inferring Strategic Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 624-62, April.
  2. Søberg, Martin, 2003. "Voting rules and endogenous trading institutions: An experimental study," Memorandum 17/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. Arnaud Dellis & Sean D’Evelyn & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2011. "Multiple votes, ballot truncation and the two-party system: an experiment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 171-200, July.
  4. Geoffroy de Clippel & Kfir Eliaz & Brian Knight, 2012. "On the Selection of Arbitrators," Working Papers 2012-8, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Marcelo Tyszler & Arthur Schram, 2013. "Strategic Voting in Heterogeneous Electorates: An Experimental Study," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 624-647, November.
  6. Dellis, Arnaud, 2010. "Weak undominance in scoring rule elections," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 110-119, January.
  7. Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Experimenter demand effects in economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 75-98, March.
  8. Spenkuch, Jörg, 2013. "On the Extent of Strategic Voting," MPRA Paper 50198, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Christoph Engel & Sebastian Kube & Michael Kurschilgen, 2011. "Can we manage first impressions in cooperation problems? An experimental study on “Broken (and Fixed) Windows”," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  10. Dellis, Arnaud, 2009. "Would letting people vote for multiple candidates yield policy moderation?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 772-801, March.
  11. Dhillon, Amrita & Lockwood, Ben, 2004. "When are plurality rule voting games dominance-solvable?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 55-75, January.
  12. Morten Søberg, 2002. "Voting rules and endogenous trading institutions: An experimental study," Discussion Papers 328, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  13. Luca Corazzini, Sebastian Kube, Michel André Maréchal, 2007. "Towards a Behavioral Public Choice: Guilt-Aversion and Accountability in the Lab," ISLA Working Papers 27, ISLA, Centre for research on Latin American Studies and Transition Economies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
  14. Richard Potthoff, 2011. "Condorcet Polling," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 67-86, July.
  15. Michael Herrmann, 2012. "Voter uncertainty and failure of Duverger’s law: an empirical analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 63-90, April.
  16. Luca Corazzini & Sebastian Kube & Michel André Maréchal & Antonio Nicolò, 2009. "Elections and deceptions: an experimental study on the behavioral effects of democracy," IEW - Working Papers 421, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich, revised Aug 2013.
  17. repec:dgr:uvatin:2011025 is not listed on IDEAS

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