Smooth Politicians and Paternalistic Voters: A Theory of Large Elections
AbstractWe propose a new game theoretic approach to modeling large elections that overcomes the “paradox of voting” in a costly voting framework, without reliance on the assumption of ad hoc preferences for voting. The key innovation that we propose is the adoption of a “smooth” policy rule under which the degree to which parties favor their own interests is increasing in their margin of victory. In other words, mandates matter. We argue that this approach is an improvement over the existing literature as it is consistent with the empirical evidence. Incorporating this policy rule into a costly voting model with paternalistic voters yields a parsimonious model with attractive properties. Specifically, the model predicts that when the size of the electorate grows without bound, limiting turnout is strictly positive both in terms of numbers and proportions. Further, the model preserves the typical comparative statics predictions that have been identified in the extant costly voting models such as the underdog effect and the competition effect. Finally, under the case of selfish agents, we are able to extend Palfrey and Rosenthal’s (1985) zero turnout result to a general class of smooth policy rules. Thus, this new approach reconciles the predictions of standard costly voting, both in terms of positive turnout and comparative statics predictions with the assumption of a large electorate environment.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17397.
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Note: LE PE POL
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Marco Faravelli & Randall Walsh, 2011. "Smooth Politicians And Paternalistic Voters: A Theory Of Large Elections," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000250, David K. Levine.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H0 - Public Economics - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-09-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2011-09-16 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2011-09-16 (Positive Political Economics)
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.:
- 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.
- Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
- Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
- Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2009. "Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 275-291, May.
- Jacob Goeree & Jens Großer, 2007. "Welfare Reducing Polls," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 51-68, April.
- 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.
- Evren, Özgür, 2012.
"Altruism and voting: A large-turnout result that does not rely on civic duty or cooperative behavior,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2124-2157.
- Özgür Evren, 2012. "Altruism and Voting: A Large-Turnout Result That Does not Rely on Civic Duty or Cooperative Behavior," Working Papers w0173, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.