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An evolutionary analysis of turnout with conformist citizens

We propose an evolutionary analysis of a voting game where citizens have a preference for conformism that adds to the instrumental preference for the electoral outcome. Multiple equilibria arise, and some generate high turnout. Simulations of best response dynamics show that high turnout is asymptotically stable if conformism matters but its likelihood depends on the reference group for conformism: high turnout is more likely when voters care about their own group's choice, as this better overrides the free rider problem of voting games. Comparative statics on the voting cost distribution, and the groups' composition are also done.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 36 (2012)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
Pages: 1431-1447

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:36:y:2012:i:10:p:1431-1447
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  1. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
  2. Meirowitz, Adam & Shotts, Kenneth W., 2009. "Pivots versus signals in elections," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 744-771, March.
  3. Massimiliano Landi & Mauro Sodini, 2010. "Conformism and Turnout," Working Papers 24-2010, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  4. Roger B. Myerson, 1998. "Population uncertainty and Poisson games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 375-392.
  5. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2008. "Attitude-Dependent Altruism, Turnout and Voting," NBER Working Papers 14302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Klick, Jonathan & Parisi, Francesco, 2008. "Social networks, self-denial, and median preferences: Conformity as an evolutionary strategy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1319-1327, August.
  7. Myerson, Roger B., 2000. "Large Poisson Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 7-45, September.
  8. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
  9. Sieg, Gernot & Schulz, Christof, 1995. " Evolutionary Dynamics in the Voting Game," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(1-2), pages 157-72, October.
  10. Benny Geys, 2006. "'Rational' Theories of Voter Turnout: A Review," Political Studies Review, Political Studies Association, vol. 4(1), pages 16-35.
  11. Amrita Dhillon & Susana Peralta, 2002. "Economic Theories Of Voter Turnout," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F332-F352, June.
  12. João Amaro de Matos & Pedro Barros, 2004. "Social Norms and the Paradox of Elections’ Turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 239-255, October.
  13. John Conley & Ali Toossi & Myrna Wooders, 2006. "Memetics and voting: how nature may make us public spirited," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 71-90, December.
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