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Manipulation through political endorsements

  • Ekmekci, Mehmet

We study elections with three candidates under plurality voting. A candidate is a Condorcet loser if the majority of the voters place that candidate at the bottom of their preference rankings. We first show that a Condorcet loser might win the election in a three-way race. Next we introduce to the model an endorser who has private information about the true probability distribution of the preferences of the voters. Observable endorsements facilitate coordination among voters who may otherwise split their votes and lead to the victory of the Condorcet loser. When the endorser has an ideological bias towards one of the candidates, the coordination impact of endorsements remains unaltered, moreover the endorser successfully manipulates the outcome of the election in favor of his bias, even if his ideological bias is known by the voters. The results are true for any endorsement cost and any magnitude of bias as long as the electorate is large enough.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 144 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 1227-1248

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:144:y:2009:i:3:p:1227-1248
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. David P. Myatt, 2004. "On the Theory of Strategic Voting," Economics Series Working Papers 186, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Eliaz, Kfir & Ray, Debraj & Razin, Ronny, 2004. "Group Decision-Making in the Shadow of Disagreement," CEPR Discussion Papers 4480, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. Mehmet Ekmekci, 2008. "Manipulation through political endorsements," Discussion Papers 1509, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. David P. Myatt, 2007. "On the Theory of Strategic Voting -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 255-281.
  6. T. Reitz & R. Myerson & R. Weber, 1998. "Campaign Finance Levels as Coordinating Signals in Three-way, Experimental Elections," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 185-218, November.
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