IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/gamebe/v84y2014icp111-131.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Compulsory versus voluntary voting: An experimental study

Author

Listed:
  • Bhattacharya, Sourav
  • Duffy, John
  • Kim, Sun-Tak

Abstract

We report on an experiment comparing compulsory and voluntary voting institutions in a voting game with common preferences. Rational choice theory predicts sharp differences in voter behavior between these two institutions. If voting is compulsory, then voters may find it rational to vote insincerely, i.e., against their private information. If voting is voluntary so that abstention is allowed, then sincere voting in accordance with a voter's private information is always rational while participation may become strategic. We find strong support for these theoretical predictions in our experimental data. Moreover, voters adapt their decisions to the voting institution in place in such a way as to make the group decision accuracy differences between the two voting institutions negligible. The latter finding may serve to rationalize the co-existence of compulsory and voluntary voting institutions in nature.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhattacharya, Sourav & Duffy, John & Kim, Sun-Tak, 2014. "Compulsory versus voluntary voting: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 111-131.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:84:y:2014:i:c:p:111-131
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2013.12.008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899825613001747
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2010. "The Swing Voter's Curse in the Laboratory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 61-89.
    2. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
    3. Morton, Rebecca B. & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2011. "Let the experts decide? Asymmetric information, abstention, and coordination in standing committees," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 485-509, June.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:02:p:407-423_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
    6. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
    7. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. "Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-446, March.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:01:p:23-35_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Jens Großer & Michael Seebauer, 2013. "The curse of uninformed voting: An experimental study," Working Paper Series in Economics 64, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:100:y:2006:i:02:p:235-248_06 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Gro Er, Jens & Schram, Arthur, 2006. "Neighborhood Information Exchange and Voter Participation: An Experimental Study," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 100(02), pages 235-248, May.
    12. Cason, Timothy N. & Mui, Vai-Lam, 2005. "Uncertainty and resistance to reform in laboratory participation games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 708-737, September.
    13. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-424, June.
    14. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
    15. Myerson, Roger B., 1998. "Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 111-131, October.
    16. repec:pit:wpaper:273 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
    18. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:01:p:34-45_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Voter Turnout as a Participation Game: An Experimental Investigation," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 25(3), pages 385-406.
    20. repec:cup:apsrev:v:79:y:1985:i:01:p:62-78_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. McKelvey, Richard D. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2008. "Quantal Response Equilibria: A Brief Synopsis," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    22. Jacob K. Goeree & Leeat Yariv, 2011. "An Experimental Study of Collective Deliberation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 893-921, May.
    23. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 2012. "Voluntary voting: Costs and benefits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2083-2123.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2016. "Divided majority and information aggregation: Theory and experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 114-128.
    2. Laurent Bouton & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Frédéric Malherbe, 2014. "Get Rid of Unanimity: The Superiority of Majority Rule with Veto Power," NBER Working Papers 20417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Laurent Bouton & Benjamin G. Ogden, 2017. "Group-based Voting in Multicandidate Elections," NBER Working Papers 23898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:aea:aejmic:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:181-209 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Alexander Elvitar & Andrei Gomberg & César Martinelli & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2014. "Ignorance and bias in collective decision:Theory and experiments," Working Papers 1401, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
    6. Großer, Jens & Seebauer, Michael, 2016. "The curse of uninformed voting: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 205-226.
    7. Kohei Kawamura & Vasileios Vlaseros, 2015. "Expert Information and Majority Decisions," ESE Discussion Papers 261, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    8. Kawamura, Kohei & Vlaseros, Vasileios, 2017. "Expert information and majority decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 77-88.
    9. repec:eee:pubeco:v:154:y:2017:i:c:p:34-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bracco, Emanuele & Revelli, Federico, 2018. "Concurrent elections and political accountability: Evidence from Italian local elections," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 135-149.
    11. Hans Gersbach & Akaki Mamageishvili & Oriol Tejada, 2017. "Assessment Voting in Large Electorates," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 17/284, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    12. Bouton, Laurent & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Malherbe, Frédéric, 2017. "Unanimous rules in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 179-198.
    13. Sebastian Fehrler & Niall Hughes, 2018. "How Transparency Kills Information Aggregation: Theory and Experiment," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 181-209, February.
    14. Bhattacharya, Sourav & Duffy, John & Kim, SunTak, 2017. "Voting with endogenous information acquisition: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 316-338.
    15. Sourav Bhattacharya & John Duffy & Sun-Tak Kim, 2015. "Voting with Endogenous Information Acquisition: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 151602, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    16. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Shapiro, Joel, 2017. "Blockholder Voting," CEPR Discussion Papers 11933, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Karl H.Schlag, 2015. "Who gives Direction to Statistical Testing? Best Practice meets Mathematically Correct Tests," Vienna Economics Papers 1512, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    18. Hans Gersbach & Akaki Mamageishvili & Oriol Tejada, 2017. "Assessment Voting in Large Electorates," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 17/284, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    19. Christoph Kuzmics & Daniel Rodenburger, 2018. "A case of evolutionary stable attainable equilibrium in the lab," Graz Economics Papers 2018-05, University of Graz, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voting behavior; Voting mechanisms; Condorcet Jury model; Information aggregation; Laboratory experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:84:y:2014:i:c:p:111-131. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.