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Majority runoff elections: strategic voting and Duverger's hypothesis

Author

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  • Bouton, Laurent

    () (Department of Economics, Georgetown University)

  • Gratton, Gabriele

    () (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, UNSW)

Abstract

The majority runoff system is widely used around the world. Yet, our understanding of its properties and of voters’ behavior is limited. In this paper, we fully characterize the set of strictly perfect voting equilibria in large three-candidate majority runoff elections. Considering all possible distributions of preference orderings and intensities, we prove that only two types of equilibria can exist. First, there are always equilibria in which only two candidates receive votes. Second, there may exist an equilibrium in which three candidates receive votes. Its characteristics challenge common beliefs: (i) neither sincere voting by all voters, nor push over tactics (i.e. supporters of the front-runner voting for a less-preferred candidate in order to influence who will face the front-runner in the second round) are supported in equilibrium, and (ii) the winner does not necessarily have democratic legitimacy since the Condorcet winner may not even participate in the second round.

Suggested Citation

  • Bouton, Laurent & Gratton, Gabriele, 2015. "Majority runoff elections: strategic voting and Duverger's hypothesis," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(2), May.
  • Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:1642
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2016. "Divided majority and information aggregation: Theory and experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 114-128.
    2. Meroni, Claudia & Pimienta, Carlos, 2017. "The structure of Nash equilibria in Poisson games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 128-144.
    3. Hughes, Niall, 2016. "Voting in legislative elections under plurality rule," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 51-93.
    4. Menezes, Aline, 2017. "Do some electoral systems select better politicians than others? Single- vs dual-ballot elections," MPRA Paper 79370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    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. Massimo Bordignon & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Moderating Political Extremism: Single Round vs Runoff Elections under Plurality Rule," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza ief0087, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    7. De Sinopoli, Francesco & Meroni, Claudia & Pimienta, Carlos, 2014. "Strategic stability in Poisson games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 46-63.
    8. Laurent Bouton & Benjamin G. Ogden, 2017. "Ethical Voting in Multicandidate Elections," NBER Working Papers 23898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Laurent Bouton, 2013. "A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1248-1288.
    10. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:494-506 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Massimo Bordignon & Tommaso Nannicini & Guido Tabellini, 2016. "Moderating Political Extremism: Single Round versus Runoff Elections under Plurality Rule," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 2349-2370, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Strategic voting; runoff elections; Poisson games;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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