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Rationalizable voting

  • Kalandrakis, Tasos


    (Department of Political Science, University of Rochester)

When is a finite number of binary voting choices consistent with the hypothesis that the voter has preferences that admit a (quasi)concave utility representation? I derive necessary and sufficient conditions and a tractable algorithm to verify their validity. I show that the hypothesis that the voter has preferences represented by a concave utility function is observationally equivalent to the hypothesis that she has preferences represented by a quasiconcave utility function, I obtain testable restrictions on the location of voter ideal points, and I apply the conditions to the problem of predicting future voting decisions. Without knowledge of the location of the voting alternatives, voting decisions by multiple voters impose no joint testable restrictions on the location of their ideal points, even in one dimension. Furthermore, the voting records of any group of voters can always be embedded in a two-dimensional space with strictly concave utility representations and arbitrary ideal points for the voters. The analysis readily generalizes to choice situations over general finite budget sets.

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Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)

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Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:425
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  1. Matzkin, Rosa L, 1991. "Axioms of Revealed Preference for Nonlinear Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1779-86, November.
  2. Forges, Françoise & Minelli, Enrico, 2009. "Afriat's theorem for general budget sets," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4099, Paris Dauphine University.
  3. Matzkin, Rosa L. & Richter, Marcel K., 1991. "Testing strictly concave rationality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 287-303, April.
  4. Kannai, Yakar, 1977. "Concavifiability and constructions of concave utility functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-56, March.
  5. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
  6. James C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Vjollca Sadiraj, . "Revealed Altruism," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-09, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Jul 2007.
  7. Chambers, Christopher P. & Echenique, Federico, 2009. "Supermodularity and preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1004-1014, May.
  8. Yakar Kannai, 2005. "Remarks concerning concave utility functions on finite sets," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 333-344, 08.
  9. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely?," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-008, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  10. Richter, Marcel K. & Wong, K.-C.Kam-Chau, 2004. "Concave utility on finite sets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 341-357, April.
  11. Bogomolnaia, Anna & Laslier, Jean-Francois, 2007. "Euclidean preferences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 87-98, February.
  12. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2006. "Roll Call Data and Ideal Points," Wallis Working Papers WP42, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  13. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:2:p:493-506 is not listed on IDEAS
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