IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v179y2019ics0047272719301124.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Information aggregation and turnout in proportional representation: A laboratory experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Herrera, Helios
  • Llorente-Saguer, Aniol
  • McMurray, Joseph C.

Abstract

This paper documents a laboratory experiment that analyzes voter participation in common interest proportional representation (PR) elections, comparing this with majority rule. Consistent with theoretical predictions, poorly informed voters in either system abstain from voting, thereby shifting weight to those who are better informed. A dilution problem makes mistakes especially costly under PR, so abstention is higher in PR in contrast with private interest environments, and welfare is lower. Deviations from Nash equilibrium predictions can be accommodated by a logit version of quantal response equilibrium (QRE), which allows for voter mistakes.

Suggested Citation

  • Herrera, Helios & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & McMurray, Joseph C., 2019. "Information aggregation and turnout in proportional representation: A laboratory experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 179(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:179:y:2019:i:c:s0047272719301124
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2019.104051
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272719301124
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2019.104051?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 look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2010. "The Swing Voter's Curse in the Laboratory," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 77(1), pages 61-89.
    2. Piketty, Thomas, 1999. "The information-aggregation approach to political institutions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 791-800, April.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Philip A. Haile & Ali Hortaçsu & Grigory Kosenok, 2008. "On the Empirical Content of Quantal Response Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 180-200, March.
    6. Luigi Guiso & Helios Herrera & Massimo Morelli & Tommaso Sonno, 2017. "Demand and Supply of Populism," EIEF Working Papers Series 1703, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Feb 2017.
    7. 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.
    8. Bouton, Laurent & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Malherbe, Frédéric, 2017. "Unanimous rules in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 179-198.
    9. Ahn, David S. & Oliveros, Santiago, 2016. "Approval voting and scoring rules with common values," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 304-310.
    10. Mattozzi, Andrea; Nakaguma, Marcos Y., 2016. "Public versus Secret Voting in Committees," Economics Working Papers ECO2016/08, European University Institute.
    11. Guarnaschelli, Serena & McKelvey, Richard D. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2000. "An Experimental Study of Jury Decision Rules," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 94(2), pages 407-423, June.
    12. Laurent Bouto & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Fédéric Malherbe, 2014. "Get Rid of Unanimity: The Superiority of Majority Rule with Veto Power," Working Papers 722, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    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. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
    15. 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.
    16. Mengel, Friederike & Rivas, Javier, 2017. "Common value elections with private information and informative priors: Theory and experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 190-221.
    17. Joseph McMurray, 2015. "The paradox of information and voter turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 13-23, October.
    18. 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.
    19. Laurent Bouton & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Frédéric Malherbe, 2018. "Get Rid of Unanimity Rule: The Superiority of Majority Rules with Veto Power," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(1), pages 107-149.
    20. Großer, Jens & Seebauer, Michael, 2016. "The curse of uninformed voting: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 205-226.
    21. Guiso, Luigi & Herrera, Helios & Morelli, Massimo & Sonno, Tommaso, 2018. "Populism: Demand and Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 11871, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Feddersen, Timothy & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1998. "Convicting the Innocent: The Inferiority of Unanimous Jury Verdicts under Strategic Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 92(1), pages 23-35, March.
    23. Powell, G. Bingham, 1986. "American Voter Turnout in Comparative Perspective," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 17-43, March.
    24. Martinelli, Cesar, 2006. "Would rational voters acquire costly information?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 225-251, July.
    25. Jacob Goeree & Charles Holt & Thomas Palfrey, 2005. "Regular Quantal Response Equilibrium," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 8(4), pages 347-367, December.
    26. 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.
    27. Jackman, Robert W., 1987. "Political Institutions and Voter Turnout in the Industrial Democracies," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 405-423, June.
    28. Helios Herrera & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Joseph C McMurray, 2019. "The Marginal Voter's Curse," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(624), pages 3137-3153.
    29. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira, 2012. "One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(1), pages 43-87, January.
    30. Melis Kartal, 2015. "A Comparative Welfare Analysis of Electoral Systems with Endogenous Turnout," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(587), pages 1369-1392, September.
    31. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-424, June.
    32. Kawamura, Kohei & Vlaseros, Vasileios, 2017. "Expert information and majority decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 77-88.
    33. Marco Faravelli & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2015. "(Don’t) Make My Vote Count," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 27(4), pages 544-569, October.
    34. 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.
    35. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    36. McMurray, Joseph, 2017. "Voting as communicating: Mandates, multiple candidates, and the signaling voter's curse," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 199-223.
    37. Konstantinos Matakos & Orestis Troumpounis & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2015. "Turnout and Polarization Under Alternative Electoral Systems," Studies in Political Economy, in: Norman Schofield & Gonzalo Caballero (ed.), The Political Economy of Governance, edition 127, pages 335-362, Springer.
    38. repec:ulb:ulbeco:2013/162238 is not listed on IDEAS
    39. Helios Herrera & Massimo Morelli & Thomas Palfrey, 2014. "Turnout and Power Sharing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(574), pages 131-162, February.
    40. Sobbrio, Francesco & Navarra, Pietro, 2010. "Electoral participation and communicative voting in Europe," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 185-207, June.
    41. 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.
    42. Joseph McMurray, 2017. "Ideology as Opinion: A Spatial Model of Common-Value Elections," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 108-140, November.
    43. Fehrler, Sebastian & Hughes, Niall, 2014. "How Transparency Kills Information Aggregation (And Why That May Be A Good Thing)," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100440, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    44. McLennan, Andrew, 1998. "Consequences of the Condorcet Jury Theorem for Beneficial Information Aggregation by Rational Agents," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 92(2), pages 413-418, June.
    45. Mark T. Le Quement & Isabel Marcin, 2016. "Communication and voting in heterogeneous committees: An experimental study," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Oct 2016.
    46. Jacob K. Goeree & Leeat Yariv, 2011. "An Experimental Study of Collective Deliberation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 893-921, May.
    47. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 2005. "An Explanation of Anomalous Behavior in Models of Political Participation," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 99(2), pages 201-213, May.
    48. 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.
    49. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2008. "Information Aggregation and Strategic Abstention in Large Laboratory Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 194-200, May.
    50. Joseph C. McMurray, 2013. "Aggregating Information by Voting: The Wisdom of the Experts versus the Wisdom of the Masses," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 80(1), pages 277-312.
    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. Philippos Louis & Orestis Troumpounis & Nikolaos Tsakas & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2020. "Protest voting in the laboratory," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0247, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    2. Kemal Kıvanç Aköz & Alexei Zakharov, 2023. "Electoral turnout with divided opposition," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 60(3), pages 439-475, April.
    3. Gersbach, Hans & Mamageishvili, Akaki & Tejada, Oriol, 2020. "Appointed Learning for the Common Good: Optimal Committee Size and Efficient Rewards," CEPR Discussion Papers 15311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. 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.
    5. Bol, Damien & Matakos, Konstantinos & Troumpounis, Orestis & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2019. "Electoral rules, strategic entry and polarization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 178(C).

    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. Bouton, Laurent & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Malherbe, Frédéric, 2017. "Unanimous rules in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 179-198.
    2. 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.
    3. Helios Herrera & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Joseph C McMurray, 2019. "The Marginal Voter's Curse," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(624), pages 3137-3153.
    4. Kawamura, Kohei & Vlaseros, Vasileios, 2017. "Expert information and majority decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 77-88.
    5. Quement, Mark T. Le & Marcin, Isabel, 2020. "Communication and voting in heterogeneous committees: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 449-468.
    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. 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.
    8. Mechtenberg, Lydia & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2019. "Voter motivation and the quality of democratic choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 241-259.
    9. John Duffy & Sourav Bhattacharya & Sun-Tak Kim, 2012. "Compulsory versus Voluntary Voting: An Experimental Study," Working Paper 492, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh, revised Aug 2013.
    10. Mark T. Le Quement & Isabel Marcin, 2016. "Communication and voting in heterogeneous committees: An experimental study," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2016_05, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Oct 2016.
    11. Darius Schlangenotto & Wendelin Schnedler & Radovan Vadovič, 2020. "Against All Odds: Tentative Steps toward Efficient Information Sharing in Groups," Games, MDPI, vol. 11(3), pages 1-24, August.
    12. Mengel, Friederike & Rivas, Javier, 2017. "Common value elections with private information and informative priors: Theory and experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 190-221.
    13. Helios Herrera & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Joseph C McMurray, 2019. "The Marginal Voter's Curse," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(624), pages 3137-3153.
    14. 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.
    15. Laurent Bouto & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Fédéric Malherbe, 2014. "Get Rid of Unanimity: The Superiority of Majority Rule with Veto Power," Working Papers 722, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    16. Dittmann, Ingolf & Kübler, Dorothea & Maug, Ernst & Mechtenberg, Lydia, 2014. "Why votes have value: Instrumental voting with overconfidence and overestimation of others' errors," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 17-38.
    17. Bandyopadhyay, Siddhartha & Deb, Moumita & Lohse, Johannes & McDonald, Rebecca, 2024. "The Swing Voter’s Curse Revisited: Transparency’s Impact on Committee Voting," Working Papers 0744, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    18. Buechel, Berno & Mechtenberg, Lydia, 2019. "The swing voter's curse in social networks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 241-268.
    19. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Moumita Deb & Johannes Lohse & Rebecca McDonald, 2024. "The swing voter's curse revisited: Transparency's impact on committee voting," Discussion Papers 24-01, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    20. Kohei Kawamura & Vasileios Vlaseros, 2015. "Expert Information and Majority Decisions," Edinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 261, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Turnout; Information aggregation; Proportional Representation; Majority Rule; Laboratory experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

    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:pubeco:v:179:y:2019:i:c:s0047272719301124. 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/505578 .

    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.