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Information and Strategic Voting

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  • Marcelo Tyszler

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Arthur Schram

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

We theoretically and experimentally study voter behavior in a setting characterized by plurality rule and mandatory voting, where voters choose from three options. We are interested in the occurrence of strategic voting in an environment where Condorcet cycles may occur. In particular, we focus on how information about the distribution of preferences affects strategic behavior. We also vary the relative importance of the second preferred option to investigate how this affects the strategic vote. Quantal response equilibrium analysis is used to analyze the game and proves to be a good predictor for the experimental data. Our results indeed show that strategic voting arises, the extent of which depends on (i) the availability of information; (ii) the relative importance of the intermediate candidate; (iii) the electorate's relative support for one's preferred candidate; and (iv) the relative position of the plurality-supported candidate in a voter's preference ordering. Our results show that information serves as a coordination device where strategic voting does not harm the plurality-preferred candidate's chances of winning.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 11-025/1.

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Date of creation: 10 Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20110025

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: Voting Behavior; Experimental Economics; Quantal Response Equilibrium;

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References

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  1. Robert Forsythe, 1991. "An Experiment on Coordination in Multi-Candidate Elections: The Importance of Polls and Election Histories," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 962, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Voter Turnout as a Participation Game: An Experimental Investigation," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 385-406.
  3. Forsythe, R. & Myerson, R. & Rietz, T. & Weber, R., 1991. "An Experimental Study of Voting Rules and Polls in Three- Way Elections," Working Papers, University of Iowa, Department of Economics 91-04, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  4. David P. Myatt & Stephen D. Fisher, 2002. "Tactical Coordination in Plurality Electoral Systems," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 504-522.
  5. Jens Großer & Arthur Schram, 2007. "Public Opinion Polls, Voter Turnout, and Welfare: An Experimental Study," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena, University of Siena 014, University of Siena.
  6. Roger B. Myerson & Robert J. Weber, 1988. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 782, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Brown, Lloyd B. & Chappell Jr., Henry W., 1999. "Forecasting presidential elections using history and polls," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 127-135, April.
  8. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Natalia Montinari, 2012. "Ranking alternatives by a fair bidding rule: a theoretical and experimental analysis," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-005, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  2. Marcelo Tyszler & Arthur Schram, 2013. "Strategic Voting in Heterogeneous Electorates: An Experimental Study," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 624-647, November.

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