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A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections

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  • LAURENT BOUTON

    () (Department of Economics, Boston University)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the properties of runoff electoral systems when voters are strategic. A model of three-candidate runoff elections is presented, and two new features are included: the risk of upset victory in the second round is endogenous, and many types of runoff systems are considered. Three main results emerge. First, runoff elections produce equilibria in which only two candidates receive a positive fraction of the votes. Second, a sincere voting equilibrium does not always exist. Finally, runo¤ systems with a threshold below 50% produce an Ortega effect that may lead to the systematic victory of the Condorcet loser.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurent Bouton, 2012. "A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2012-001, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2012-001
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    File URL: http://people.bu.edu/lbouton/Runoff.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carlos Gonçalves & Ricardo Madeira & Mauro Rodrigues, 2008. "Two-ballot versus plurality rule: an empirical investigation on the number of candidates," Working Papers 09_10, Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Runoff Elections; Duverger's Law and Hypothesis; Condorcet Loser; Poisson Games;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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