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Representative Voter Theorems


  • Rothstein, Paul


The representative voter is an individual whose strict preference for any alternative x over any alternative y implies (1) x strictly defeats y by majority rule, if there are an odd number of voters, and (2) x weakly defeats y otherwise. This result holds for the median voter if x is his ideal point or if preferences satisfy a generalized symmetry property, but not in general. The authors examine a formal condition that guarantees the existence of a representative voter and an economic model in which this condition holds. They also indicate a method for estimating representative voting behavior that is justified when a representative voter exists, and compare this with a method for deriving median voting behavior from an estimated demand curve. Copyright 1991 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Rothstein, Paul, 1991. "Representative Voter Theorems," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 72(2-3), pages 193-212, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:72:y:1991:i:2-3:p:193-212

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baik, Kyung Hwan & Kim, In-Gyu, 1997. "Delegation in contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 281-298, May.
    2. Liston-Heyes, Catherine, 2001. "Setting the Stakes in Environmental Contests," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 1-12, January.
    3. Schoonbeek, Lambert, 2004. "Delegation in a group-contest," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 263-272, March.
    4. Gil S. Epstein & Carsten Hefeker, 2003. "Lobbying contests with alternative instruments," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 81-89, April.
    5. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
    6. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martínez-Mora Francisco & Puy M. Socorro, 2012. "Asymmetric Single-peaked Preferences," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-26, December.
    2. Guillaume Cheikbossian, 2016. "The political economy of (De)centralization with complementary public goods," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 47(2), pages 315-348, August.
    3. Dietrich, Franz & List, Christian, 2010. "Majority voting on restricted domains," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 512-543, March.
    4. Saporiti, Alejandro, 2009. "Strategy-proofness and single-crossing," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 4(2), June.
    5. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
    6. John Duggan, 2014. "Majority Voting Over Lotteries: Conditions for Existence of a Decisive Voter," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(1), pages 263-270.
    7. Fan-chin Kung, 2005. "Formation of Collective Decision-Making Units: Stability and a Solution," Game Theory and Information 0505002, EconWPA, revised 21 Jun 2005.
    8. Donald Wittman, 2005. "Valence characteristics, costly policy and the median-crossing property: A diagrammatic exposition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(3), pages 365-382, September.
    9. Marco Bassetto & Jess Benhabib, 2006. "Redistribution, Taxes and the Median Voter," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 211-223, April.
    10. John Duggan, 2016. "Preference exclusions for social rationality," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(1), pages 93-118, January.
    11. Puppe, Clemens, 2016. "The single-peaked domain revisited: A simple global characterization," Working Paper Series in Economics 97, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
    12. Martínez-Mora, Francisco & Puy, M. Socorro, 2014. "The determinants and electoral consequences of asymmetric preferences," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 85-97.
    13. Evan Osborne, 1998. "A theory of gridlock: Strategic behavior in legislative deliberations," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 26(3), pages 238-251, September.
    14. Marcus Pivato, 2009. "Geometric models of consistent judgement aggregation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 33(4), pages 559-574, November.
    15. Daniel Cardona & Clara Ponsatí, 2015. "Representing a democratic constituency in negotiations: delegation versus ratification," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(2), pages 399-414, September.
    16. repec:spr:sochwe:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1031-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Alejandro Saporiti, 2006. "Strategic voting on single-crossing domains," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0617, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    18. repec:kap:pubcho:v:172:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0448-6 is not listed on IDEAS

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