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The two-party system under alternative voting procedures

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  • Arnaud Dellis

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Abstract

Countries that elect their policy-makers by means of Plurality Voting tend to have a two-party system. This observation can be explained by the strategic behavior of voters. This article derives two broad classes of voting procedures under which strategic voting behavior induces a two-party system under standard assumptions on voter preferences. One class consists of the voting procedures with unique top-score, i.e., under which a voter can cast a top-score vote for only one candidate (e.g., Plurality Voting, Borda Count). The other class consists of the voting procedures that permit truncated ballots, i.e., under which voters do not have to cast all their votes (e.g., Approval Voting). This analysis suggests that the key for strategic voting behavior to induce a two-party system is that voters can always cast a different score for the two candidates they rank first and second on their ballots. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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  • Arnaud Dellis, 2013. "The two-party system under alternative voting procedures," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(1), pages 263-284, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:40:y:2013:i:1:p:263-284
    DOI: 10.1007/s00355-011-0597-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Damien Bol & Arnaud Dellis & Mandar Oak, 2016. "Comparison of Voting Procedures using Models of Electoral Competition with Endogenous Candidacy," School of Economics Working Papers 2016-02, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    2. Arnaud Dellis & Mandar Oak, 2016. "Multiple votes, multiple candidacies and polarization," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(1), pages 1-38, January.
    3. Arnaud Dellis & Sean D’Evelyn & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2011. "Multiple votes, ballot truncation and the two-party system: an experiment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 37(2), pages 171-200, July.
    4. Arnaud Dellis & Mandar Oak, 2016. "Multiple votes, multiple candidacies and polarization," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 46(1), pages 1-38, January.
    5. Orestis Troumpounis & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2016. "Incomplete information, proportional representation and strategic voting," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 47(4), pages 879-903, December.
    6. Francesco, De Sinopoli & Giovanna, Iannantuoni & Valeria, Maggian & Stefania, Ottone, 2018. "A Two-Party System under the Proportional Rule is Possible: Strategic Voting in the Lab," Working Papers 381, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 16 May 2018.
    7. Bol, Damien & Matakos, Konstantinos & Troumpounis, Orestis & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2019. "Electoral rules, strategic entry and polarization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 178(C).

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