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A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections

  • Laurent Bouton

This paper analyzes the properties of runoff electoral systems when voters are strategic. A model of three-candidate runoff elections is presented, and two new features are included: the risk of upset victory in the second round is endogenous, and many types of runoff systems are considered. Three main results emerge. First, runoff elections produce equilibria in which only two candidates receive a positive fraction of the votes. Second, a sincere voting equilibrium does not always exist. Finally, runoff systems with a threshold below 50 percent produce an Ortega effect that may lead to the systematic victory of the Condorcet loser.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
Pages: 1248-88

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:4:p:1248-88
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.4.1248
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  1. David P. Myatt & Torun Dewan, 2006. "Leading the Party: Coordination, Direction, and Communication," Economics Series Working Papers 280, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira De Moura, 2012. "One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/108675, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Stephen Wright & William Riker, 1989. "Plurality and runoff systems and numbers of candidates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 155-175, February.
  4. Roger B. Myerson, 1994. "Population Uncertainty and Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1102, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Cesar Martinelli, 2000. "Simple Plurality versus Plurality Runoff with Privately Informed Voters," Working Papers 0004, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  6. Myerson, Roger B., 2002. "Comparison of Scoring Rules in Poisson Voting Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 219-251, March.
  7. Francesco De Sinopoli, 2000. "Sophisticated voting and equilibrium refinements under plurality rule," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 655-672.
  8. repec:oup:restud:v:67:y:2000:i:1:p:169-91 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira De Moura, 2009. "The Condorcet-Duverger Trade-Off: swing voters and voting equilibria," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/159859, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. David P. Myatt, 2000. "The New Theory of Strategic Voting," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1586, Econometric Society.
  11. Carlos Eduardo S. Gonçalves & Ricardo A. Madeira & Mauro Rodrigues, 2011. "Two-ballot versus plurality rule: an empirical investigation on the number of candidates," Working Papers 0112, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Department of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. repec:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:1:p:65-96 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. 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.
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