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On the Extent of Strategic Voting

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  • Spenkuch, Jörg

Abstract

Social scientists have long speculated about individuals' tendencies to misrepresent their preferences in order to affect the outcome of social choice mechanisms. The fact that preference orderings are generally unobserved, however, has made it very difficult to document strategic behavior empirically. Exploiting the incentive structure of Germany's voting system to solve the fundamental identification problem, this paper estimates the extent of strategic voting in large, real-world elections. The evidence indicates that approximately 35% of voters abandon their most preferred candidate if she is not in contention for victory. As predicted by theory, tactical behavior has a non-trivial impact on individual races. Yet, as one aggregates across districts, these distortions partially offset each other, resulting in considerably more modest effects on the overall distribution of seats.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 50198.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:50198

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Keywords: voting; strategic voting; strategyproofness in social choice; elections; Germany;

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  1. Eckel, Catherine & Holt, Charles A, 1989. "Strategic Voting in Agenda-Controlled Committee Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 763-73, September.
  2. Roger B. Myerson, 1997. "Large Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1189, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Kei Kawai & Yasutora Watanabe, 2013. "Inferring Strategic Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 624-62, April.
  4. Gschwend, Thomas, 2004. "Ticket-Splitting and Strategic Voting," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-06, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  5. Satterthwaite, Mark Allen, 1975. "Strategy-proofness and Arrow's conditions: Existence and correspondence theorems for voting procedures and social welfare functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 187-217, April.
  6. Roger B. Myerson, 1994. "Population Uncertainty and Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1102, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. 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.
  8. Jushan Bai, 1997. "Estimation Of A Change Point In Multiple Regression Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 551-563, November.
  9. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  10. Roger B. Myerson, 2000. "Comparison of Scoring Rules in Poisson Voting Games," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0686, Econometric Society.
  11. Fujiwara, Thomas, 2011. "A Regression Discontinuity Test of Strategic Voting and Duverger's Law," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 6(3–4), pages 197-233, November.
  12. Coate, Stephen & Conlin, Michael & Moro, Andrea, 2008. "The performance of pivotal-voter models in small-scale elections: Evidence from Texas liquor referenda," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 582-596, April.
  13. Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2012. "Please don’t vote for me: strategic voting in a natural experiment with perverse incentives," MPRA Paper 38416, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. John Duffy & Margit Tavits, 2006. "Beliefs and Voting Decisions: A Test of the Pivotal Voter Model," Working Papers 273, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised May 2007.
  15. Bruce E. Hansen, 1996. "Sample Splitting and Threshold Estimation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 319., Boston College Department of Economics, revised 12 May 1998.
  16. Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "The Swing Voter's Curse," Discussion Papers 1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Degan, Arianna & Merlo, Antonio, 2009. "Do voters vote ideologically?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 1868-1894, September.
  18. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  19. Gibbard, Allan, 1973. "Manipulation of Voting Schemes: A General Result," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 587-601, July.
  20. Forsythe, Robert, et al, 1996. "An Experimental Study of Voting Rules and Polls in Three-Candidate Elections," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 355-83.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Antonio Merlo & Aureo de Paula, 2010. "Identification and Estimation of Preference Distributions When Voters Are Ideological," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-001, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Antonio Merlo & Aureo de Paula, 2010. "Identification and Estimation of Preference Distributions When Voters Are Ideological, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-055, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 13 Oct 2013.
  3. Laurent Bouton & Gabriele Gratton, 2013. "Majority Runoff Elections: Strategic Voting and Duverger's Hypothesis," Discussion Papers 2013-23, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.

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