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Rationalizable Voting

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Abstract

We derive necessary and sufficient conditions in order for a finite number of binary voting choices to be consistent with the hypothesis that voters have preferences that admit concave utility representations. When the location of the voting alternatives is known, we apply these conditions in order to derive simple, nontrivial testable restrictions on the location of voters’ ideal points, and in order to predict individual voting behavior. If, on the other hand, the location of voting alternatives is unrestricted then voting decisions impose no testable restrictions on the joint location of voter ideal points, even if the space of alternatives is one dimensional. Furthermore, two dimensions are always sufficient to represent or fold the voting records of any number of voters while endowing all these voters with strictly concave preferences and arbitrary ideal points. The analysis readily generalizes to choice situations over any finite sets of alternatives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy in its series Wallis Working Papers with number WP51.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:roc:wallis:wp51

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Postal: University of Rochester, Wallis Institute, Harkness 109B Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.

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  1. Rosa L. Matzkin & Marcel K. Richter, 1987. "Testing Strictly Concave Rationality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 844, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Degan, Arianna & Merlo, Antonio, 2007. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6165, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Forges, Françoise & Minelli, Enrico, 2009. "Afriat's theorem for general budget sets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 135-145, January.
  4. Jim C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2005. "Revealed Altruism," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000595, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Matzkin, Rosa L, 1991. "Axioms of Revealed Preference for Nonlinear Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1779-86, November.
  6. Bogomolnaia, Anna & Laslier, Jean-Francois, 2007. "Euclidean preferences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 87-98, February.
  7. Yakar Kannai, 2005. "Remarks concerning concave utility functions on finite sets," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 333-344, 08.
  8. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2006. "Roll Call Data and Ideal Points," Wallis Working Papers WP42, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  9. Chambers, Christopher P. & Echenique, Federico, 2009. "Supermodularity and preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1004-1014, May.
  10. Richter, Marcel K. & Wong, K.-C.Kam-Chau, 2004. "Concave utility on finite sets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 341-357, April.
  11. Chavas, Jean-Paul & Cox, Thomas L, 1993. "On Generalized Revealed Preference Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 493-506, May.
  12. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Eguia, Jon X., 2011. "Foundations of spatial preferences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 200-205, March.
  2. Echenique, Federico & Chambers, Christopher P., 2014. "On the consistency of data with bargaining theories," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(1), January.
  3. Jinhui H. Bai & Roger Lagunoff, 2013. "Revealed Political Power," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 1085-1115, November.
  4. Marc Henry & Ismael Mourifié, 2011. "Euclidean Revealed Preferences: Testing the Spatial Voting Model," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-49, CIRANO.
  5. Azrieli, Yaron, 2011. "Axioms for Euclidean preferences with a valence dimension," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 545-553.
  6. Andrei Gomberg, 2011. "Vote Revelation: Empirical Characterization of Scoring Rules," Working Papers 1102, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  7. Heufer, Jan, 2013. "Quasiconcave preferences on the probability simplex: A nonparametric analysis," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 21-30.

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