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Do Voters Vote Sincerely?

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  • Arianna Degan

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Quebec at Montreal)

  • Antonio Merlo

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

In this paper we address the following questions: (i) To what extent is the hypothesis that voters vote sincerely testable or falsifiable? And (ii) in environments where the hypothesis is falsifiable, to what extent is the observed behavior of voters consistent with sincere voting? We show that using data only on how individuals vote in a single election, the hypothesis that voters vote sincerely is irrefutable, regardless of the number of candidates competing in the election. On the other hand, using data on how the same individuals vote in multiple elections, the hypothesis that voters vote sincerely is potentially falsifiable, and we provide general conditions under which the hypothesis can be tested. We then assess whether the behavior of voters is consistent with sincere voting in U.S. national elections in the post-war period. We find that by and large sincere voting can explain virtually all of the individual-level observations on voting behavior in presidential and congressional U.S. elections in the data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 06-008.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:06-008

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Keywords: voting; spatial models; falsifiability; testing;

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  1. Amrita Dhillon & Susana Peralta, 2002. "Economic Theories Of Voter Turnout," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F332-F352, June.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
  3. Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues," PIER Working Paper Archive, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania 05-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
  4. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
  6. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  7. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "A Structural Model of Turnout and Voting in Multiple Elections," PIER Working Paper Archive, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania 07-011, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Feb 2007.
  8. James J. Heckman & James M. Snyder, Jr., 1996. "Linear Probability Models of the Demand for Attributes with an Empirical Application to Estimating the Preferences of Legislators," NBER Working Papers 5785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Chari, V V & Jones, Larry E & Marimon, Ramon, 1997. "The Economics of Split-Ticket Voting in Representative Democracies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 957-76, December.
  10. Pierre-André Chiappori & Olivier Donni, 2005. "Learning From a Piece of Pie: The Empirical Content of Nash Bargaining," THEMA Working Papers, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise 2006-07, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  11. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & Gérard Roland, 2006. "Dimensions of politics in the European Parliament," ULB Institutional Repository, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles 2013/7750, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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Cited by:
  1. Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik T., 2012. "Tax contracts, party bargaining, and government formation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 173-192.
  2. Massimo Bordignon & Tommaso Nannicini & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Moderating Political Extremism: Single Round vs Runoff Elections under Plurality Rule," Working Papers, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University 348, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Coate, Stephen & Knight, Brian, 2007. "Socially Optimal Districting: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration," Working Papers, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics 07-06, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  4. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2008. "Rationalizable Voting," Wallis Working Papers, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy WP51, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  5. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias, 2010. "The binary policy model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 661-688, March.
  6. Hans Gersbach & Oriol Tejada & Maik T. Schneider, 2014. "Coalition-Preclusion Contracts and Moderate Policies," CER-ETH Economics working paper series, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich 14/195, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  7. Joseph McMurray, 2008. "Information and Voting: the Wisdom of the Experts versus the Wisdom of the Masses," Wallis Working Papers, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy WP59, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  8. Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik, 2008. "Tax Contracts and Government Formation," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7084, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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