IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jetheo/v195y2021ics0022053121000454.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The effect of handicaps on turnout for large electorates with an application to assessment voting

Author

Listed:
  • Gersbach, Hans
  • Mamageishvili, Akaki
  • Tejada, Oriol

Abstract

We analyze the effect of handicaps on turnout. A handicap is a difference in the vote tally between alternatives that is added to the vote tally generated by voters. Handicaps are implicit in many existing democratic procedures. Within a costly voting framework with private values we show that turnout incentives diminish considerably across the board if handicaps are large, while low handicaps yield more mixed predictions. The results extend beyond the baseline model—e.g. by including uncertainty and behavioral motivations—and can be applied to the design of Assessment Voting. This is a new voting procedure where (i) some randomly selected citizens vote for one of two alternatives, and the results are published; (ii) the remaining citizens vote or abstain; and (iii) the final outcome is obtained by applying the majority rule to all votes combined. If the size of the first voting group is appropriate, large electorates choose the majority's preferred alternative with high probability, and average participation costs are moderate or low.

Suggested Citation

  • Gersbach, Hans & Mamageishvili, Akaki & Tejada, Oriol, 2021. "The effect of handicaps on turnout for large electorates with an application to assessment voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 195(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:195:y:2021:i:c:s0022053121000454
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2021.105228
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022053121000454
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jet.2021.105228?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    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. Alberto Grillo, 2017. "Risk aversion and bandwagon effect in the pivotal voter model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 172(3), pages 465-482, September.
    2. Frederico Finan & Laura Schechter, 2012. "Vote‐Buying and Reciprocity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(2), pages 863-881, March.
    3. Eddie Dekel & Michele Piccione, 2000. "Sequential Voting Procedures in Symmetric Binary Elections," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(1), pages 34-55, February.
    4. Foster, Carroll B., 1983. "The Performance of Rational Voter Models in Recent Presidential Elections," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 678-690, December.
    5. Patrick Hummel, 2011. "Sequential Voting When Long Elections Are Costly," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 36-58, March.
    6. Meroni, Claudia & Pimienta, Carlos, 2017. "The structure of Nash equilibria in Poisson games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 128-144.
    7. Jens Großer & Arthur Schram, 2010. "Public Opinion Polls, Voter Turnout, and Welfare: An Experimental Study," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(3), pages 700-717, July.
    8. Hughes, Niall, 2016. "Voting in legislative elections under plurality rule," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 51-93.
    9. Helios Herrera & Andrea Mattozzi, 2010. "Quorum and Turnout in Referenda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 838-871, June.
    10. Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 2015. "Majority Rule and Utilitarian Welfare," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 339-375, November.
    11. Cantoni, Davide & Bursztyn, Leonardo & Yuchtman, Noam & Funk, Patricia, 2017. "Polls, the Press, and Political Participation: The Effects of Anticipated Election Closeness on Voter Turnout," CEPR Discussion Papers 12088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Roger B. Myerson, 1998. "Population uncertainty and Poisson games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 27(3), pages 375-392.
    13. Alan Gerber & Mitchell Hoffman & John Morgan & Collin Raymond, 2020. "One in a Million: Field Experiments on Perceived Closeness of the Election and Voter Turnout," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 287-325, July.
    14. Esteban Klor & Eyal Winter, 2007. "The welfare effects of public opinion polls," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 35(3), pages 379-394, February.
    15. Myerson, Roger B., 2000. "Large Poisson Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 7-45, September.
    16. Levine, David K. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2007. "The Paradox of Voter Participation? A Laboratory Study," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 143-158, February.
    17. Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2019. "Strategic voting when participation is costly," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 122-127.
    18. Stephen Hansen & Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1987. "The Downsian model of electoral participation: Formal theory and empirical analysis of the constituency size effect," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 15-33, January.
    19. Morton, Rebecca B. & Muller, Daniel & Page, Lionel & Torgler, Benno, 2015. "Exit polls, turnout, and bandwagon voting: Evidence from a natural experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 65-81.
    20. Steven Callander, 2007. "Bandwagons and Momentum in Sequential Voting," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 74(3), pages 653-684.
    21. Hummel, Patrick, 2012. "Sequential voting in large elections with multiple candidates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 341-348.
    22. John Duffy & Margit Tavits, 2008. "Beliefs and Voting Decisions: A Test of the Pivotal Voter Model," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(3), pages 603-618, July.
    23. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
    24. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira, 2012. "One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(1), pages 43-87, January.
    25. Riker, William H. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1968. "A Theory of the Calculus of Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 25-42, March.
    26. David P. Myatt, 2007. "On the Theory of Strategic Voting -super-1," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 74(1), pages 255-281.
    27. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2009. "Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 275-291, May.
    28. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
    29. Battaglini, Marco, 2005. "Sequential voting with abstention," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 445-463, May.
    30. Riker, William H. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1968. "A Theory of the Calculus of Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 25-42, March.
    31. John Ledyard, 1984. "The pure theory of large two-candidate elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 7-41, January.
    32. Michael M. Bechtel & Dominik Hangartner & Lukas Schmid, 2018. "Compulsory Voting, Habit Formation, and Political Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 467-476, July.
    33. Jacob Goeree & Jens Großer, 2007. "Welfare Reducing Polls," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 51-68, April.
    34. Taylor, Curtis R. & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2010. "A unified analysis of rational voting with private values and group-specific costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 457-471, November.
    35. Jeffrey S. Rosenthal & Martin J. Osborne & Matthew A. Turner, 2000. "Meetings with Costly Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 927-943, September.
    36. Taylor, Curtis R. & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2010. "Public information and electoral bias," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 353-375, January.
    37. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
    38. Marina Agranov & Jacob K Goeree & Julian Romero & Leeat Yariv, 2018. "What Makes Voters Turn Out: The Effects of Polls and Beliefs," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 825-856.
    39. Stefano Dellavigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier & Gautam Rao, 2017. "Voting to Tell Others," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 84(1), pages 143-181.
    40. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
    41. Lever, Annabelle, 2010. "Compulsory Voting: A Critical Perspective," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(4), pages 897-915, October.
    42. Efe A. Ok, 2007. "Preliminaries of Real Analysis, from Real Analysis with Economic Applications," Introductory Chapters, in: Real Analysis with Economic Applications, Princeton University Press.
    43. 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.
    44. repec:ulb:ulbeco:2013/162238 is not listed on IDEAS
    45. Helios Herrera & Massimo Morelli & Thomas Palfrey, 2014. "Turnout and Power Sharing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(574), pages 131-162, February.
    46. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
    47. repec:oup:restud:v:84:y::i:1:p:143-181. is not listed on IDEAS
    48. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1985. "Voter Participation and Strategic Uncertainty," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 62-78, March.
    49. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
    50. Bognar, Katalin & Börgers, Tilman & Meyer-ter-Vehn, Moritz, 2015. "An optimal voting procedure when voting is costly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PB), pages 1056-1073.
    51. Marco Battaglini, 2017. "Public Protests and Policy Making," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 132(1), pages 485-549.
    52. Michael M. Bechtel & Dominik Hangartner & Lukas Schmid, 2016. "Does Compulsory Voting Increase Support for Leftist Policy?," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 60(3), pages 752-767, July.
    53. Arzumanyan, Mariam & Polborn, Mattias K., 2017. "Costly voting with multiple candidates under plurality rule," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 38-50.
    54. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 2012. "Voluntary voting: Costs and benefits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2083-2123.
    55. Bechtel, Michael M. & Hangartner, Dominik & Schmid, Lukas, 2018. "Compulsory voting, habit formation, and political participation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 89714, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    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. Gersbach, Hans & Mamageishvili, Akaki & Tejada, Oriol, 2022. "Appointed learning for the common good: Optimal committee size and monetary transfers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 153-176.
    2. Mamageishvili, Akaki & Tejada, Oriol, 2023. "Large elections and interim turnout," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 175-210.
    3. Dmitriy Vorobyev & Azamat Valei & Andrei Matveenko, 2023. "Approval vs. Participation Quorums," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2023_438, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Gersbach, Hans & Mamageishvili, Akaki & Tejada, Oriol, 2019. "The Effect of Handicaps on Turnout for Large Electorates: An Application to Assessment Voting," CEPR Discussion Papers 13921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Mamageishvili, Akaki & Tejada, Oriol, 2023. "Large elections and interim turnout," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 175-210.
    3. Alberto Grillo, 2017. "Risk aversion and bandwagon effect in the pivotal voter model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 172(3), pages 465-482, September.
    4. Leontiou, Anastasia & Manalis, Georgios & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2023. "Bandwagons in costly elections: The role of loss aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 209(C), pages 471-490.
    5. Hans Gersbach & Akaki Mamageishvili & Oriol Tejada, 2017. "Assessment Voting in Large Electorates," Papers 1712.05470, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2018.
    6. Faravelli, Marco & Man, Priscilla & Walsh, Randall, 2015. "Mandate and paternalism: A theory of large elections," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 1-23.
    7. Christina Luxen, 2020. "Pollsand Elections: Strategic Respondents and Turnout Implications," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 020, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    8. Marco Faravelli & Kenan Kalayci & Carlos Pimienta, 2020. "Costly voting: a large-scale real effort experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 23(2), pages 468-492, June.
    9. Dmitriy Vorobyev, 2022. "Information disclosure in elections with sequential costly participation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 190(3), pages 317-344, March.
    10. Alastair Smith & Bruce Bueno de Mesquita & Tom LaGatta, 2017. "Group incentives and rational voting1," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 29(2), pages 299-326, April.
    11. Hans Peter Grüner & Thomas Tröger, 2019. "Linear Voting Rules," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(6), pages 2037-2077, November.
    12. Marco Faravelli & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2015. "(Don’t) Make My Vote Count," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 27(4), pages 544-569, October.
    13. Ming Li & Dipjyoti Majumdar, 2010. "A Psychologically Based Model of Voter Turnout," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(5), pages 979-1002, October.
    14. Cameron Guage & Feng Fu, 2021. "Asymmetric Partisan Voter Turnout Games," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 738-758, December.
    15. Matveenko, Andrei & Valei, Azamat & Vorobyev, Dmitriy, 2022. "Participation quorum when voting is costly," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    16. Alabrese, Eleonora & Fetzer, Thiemo, 2024. "Opinion Polls, Turnout and the Demand for Safe Seats," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 707, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    17. Taylor, Curtis R. & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2010. "A unified analysis of rational voting with private values and group-specific costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 457-471, November.
    18. Cesar Martinelli & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2017. "Communication and Information in Games of Collective Decision: A Survey of Experimental Results," Working Papers 1065, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    19. Melis Kartal, 2015. "Laboratory elections with endogenous turnout: proportional representation versus majoritarian rule," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 366-384, September.
    20. Federico Revelli & Tsung-Sheng Tsai & Cheng-Tai Wu, 2024. "Ties," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 62(1), pages 1-35, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Turnout; Referenda; Elections; Pivotal voting; Private value;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

    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:jetheo:v:195:y:2021:i:c:s0022053121000454. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869 .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.