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Euclidean Revealed Preferences: Testing the Spatial Voting Model

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  • Marc Henry

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  • Ismael Mourifié

Abstract

In the spatial model of voting, voters choose the candidate closest to them in the ideological space. Recent work by (Degan and Merlo 2009) shows that it is falsifiable on the basis of individual voting data in multiple elections. We show how to tackle the fact that the model only partially identifies the distribution of voting profiles and we give a formal revealed preference test of the spatial voting model in 3 national elections in the US, and strongly reject the spatial model in all cases. We also construct confidence regions for partially identified voter characteristics in an augmented model with unobserved valence dimension, and identify the amount of voter heterogeneity necessary to reconcile the data with spatial preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2011s-49.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2011s-49

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Keywords: revealed preference; partial identification; elliptic preferences; voting behaviour;

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  1. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-59, July.
  2. Degan, Arianna & Merlo, Antonio, 2009. "Do voters vote ideologically?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 1868-1894, September.
  3. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 2005. "Best nonparametric bounds on demand responses," IFS Working Papers W05/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Chesher, Andrew D, 1984. "Testing for Neglected Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 865-72, July.
  5. Ruud H Koning & Geert Ridder, 1999. "Discrete Choice and Stochastic Utility Maximization," Economics Working Paper Archive 413, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  6. Nicholas A. Christakis & James H. Fowler & Guido W. Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2010. "An Empirical Model for Strategic Network Formation," NBER Working Papers 16039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  8. Bogomolnaia, Anna & Laslier, Jean-Francois, 2007. "Euclidean preferences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 87-98, February.
  9. Norman Schofield, 2007. "The Mean Voter Theorem: Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Convergent Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 965-980.
  10. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2008. "Rationalizable Voting," Wallis Working Papers WP51, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  11. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 1990. "On the compatibility of nested logit models with utility maximization," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 373-388, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Mahieu, R.J. & Raes, L.B.D., 2013. "Inferring Hawks and Doves from Voting Records," Discussion Paper 2013-024, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Florenz Plassmann & T. Tideman, 2014. "How frequently do different voting rules encounter voting paradoxes in three-candidate elections?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 31-75, January.

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