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Majority Runoff Elections: Strategic Voting and Duverger's Hypothesis

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  • Laurent Bouton

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Georgetown University)

  • Gabriele Gratton

    ()
    (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)

Abstract

The majority runoff system is widely used around the world. Yet, our understanding of its properties and of voters’ behavior is limited. In this paper, we fully characterize the set of strictly perfect voting equilibria in large three-candidate majority runoff elections. Considering all possible distributions of preference orderings and intensities, we prove that only two types of equilibria can exist. First, there are always equilibria in which only two candidates receive votes. Second, there may exist an equilibrium in which three candidates receive votes. Its characteristics challenge common beliefs: (i) neither sincere voting by all voters, nor push over tactics (i.e. supporters of the front-runner voting for a less-preferred candidate in order to in?uence who will face the front-runner in the second round) are supported in equilibrium, and (ii) the winner does not necessarily have democratic legitimacy since the Condorcet winner may not even participate in the second round.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics, The University of New South Wales in its series Discussion Papers with number 2013-23.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2013-23

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Keywords: Strategic Voting; Runoff Elections; Poisson Games;

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References

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  1. Kei Kawai & Yasutora Watanabe, 2013. "Inferring Strategic Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 624-62, April.
  2. Roger B. Myerson, 1998. "Population uncertainty and Poisson games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 375-392.
  3. Laurent Bouton, 2012. "A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2012-001, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  4. Roger B. Myerson, 1997. "Large Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1189, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Myerson, Roger B., 2013. "Fundamentals of Social Choice Theory," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 8(3), pages 305-337, 06.
  6. Laurent Bouton, 2013. "A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/160854, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael, 2008. "One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6695, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  9. Roger B. Myerson, 2000. "Comparison of Scoring Rules in Poisson Voting Games," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0686, Econometric Society.
  10. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Voting as Communicating," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 169-91, January.
  11. Blais, André & Laslier, Jean-François & Sauger, Nicolas & Van Der Straeten, Karine, 2012. "Sorting Out Mechanical and Psychological Effects in Candidate Elections: An Appraisal with Experimental Data," TSE Working Papers 12-296, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  12. Cesar Martinelli, 2000. "Simple Plurality versus Plurality Runoff with Privately Informed Voters," Working Papers 0004, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  13. Francesco De Sionopoli & Carlos Gonzalez Pimienta, 2007. "Undominated (and) perfect equilibria in Poisson games," Economics Working Papers we073117, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  14. 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.
  15. Spenkuch, Jörg, 2013. "On the Extent of Strategic Voting," MPRA Paper 50198, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Callander, Steven, 1999. "Electoral Competition with Entry," Working Papers 1083, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  17. Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2007. "Strong and coalition-proof political equilibria under plurality and runoff rule," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 287-314, January.
  18. Donald G. Saari, 2003. "Unsettling aspects of voting theory," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 529-555, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2012. "Divided Majority and Information Aggregation: Theory and Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 9234, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Laurent Bouton, 2013. "A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1248-88, June.
  3. Bordignon, Massimo & Nannicini, Tommaso & Tabellini, Guido, 2013. "Moderating Political Extremism: Single Round vs Runoff Elections under Plurality Rule," IZA Discussion Papers 7561, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Francesco De Sinopoli & Claudia Meroni & Carlos Pimienta, 2014. "Strategic Stability in Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 2014-09, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.

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