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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)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:425
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econtheory.org

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  1. Chavas, Jean-Paul & Cox, Thomas L, 1993. "On Generalized Revealed Preference Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 493-506, May.
  2. Anna Bogomolnaïa & Jean-François Laslier, 2004. "Euclidean preferences," Working Papers hal-00242941, HAL.
  3. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely?," NBER Working Papers 12922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Yakar Kannai, 2005. "Remarks concerning concave utility functions on finite sets," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 333-344, 08.
  5. Cox, James C. & Friedman, Daniel & Sadiraj, Vjollca, 2009. "Revealed Altruism," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6rb5t4mc, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  6. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
  7. Matzkin, Rosa L. & Richter, Marcel K., 1991. "Testing strictly concave rationality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 287-303, April.
  8. Forges, Françoise & Minelli, Enrico, 2009. "Afriat's theorem for general budget sets," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4099, Paris Dauphine University.
  9. Kannai, Yakar, 1977. "Concavifiability and constructions of concave utility functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-56, March.
  10. Matzkin, Rosa L, 1991. "Axioms of Revealed Preference for Nonlinear Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1779-86, November.
  11. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2006. "Roll Call Data and Ideal Points," Wallis Working Papers WP42, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  12. 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.
  13. Chambers, Christopher P. & Echenique, Federico, 2009. "Supermodularity and preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1004-1014, May.
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