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Special Section: Experiments on Learning, Methods, and Voting

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  • Yen Kuo
  • Joseph Tao-yi Wang

Abstract

We use the strategy method to conduct laboratory experiments on a nine-player heterogeneous-cost voting game. We replicate the underdog and competition effect, but find significantly higher voter turnout rates to be only partially explained by logit quantal response equilibrium. We examine round-by-round changes in cut-off behaviour and find that voters are highly responsive to historical pivotal events. Voters also respond to past winning and tying, but only as a minority (upsetting the majority), demonstrating an ‘underdog winning effect’, receiving extra utility when winning as a minority. An equilibrium with such asymmetry in utility explains the high minority turnout (and high majority turnout as a best response).

Suggested Citation

  • Yen Kuo & Joseph Tao-yi Wang, 2014. "Special Section: Experiments on Learning, Methods, and Voting," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 387-400, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:pacecr:v:19:y:2014:i:3:p:387-400
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/1468-0106.12071
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
    2. Amrita Dhillon & Susana Peralta, 2002. "Economic Theories Of Voter Turnout," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 332-352, June.
    3. Levine, David K. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2007. "The Paradox of Voter Participation? A Laboratory Study," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 101(01), pages 143-158, February.
    4. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    5. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
    6. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
    7. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
    8. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Why people vote: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 417-442, August.
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