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Participation in Fraudulent Elections

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  • Dmitriy Vorobyev

Abstract

I analyze a costly voting model of elections, in which the incumbent can stuff the ballot box, to investigate how electoral fraud affects the participation decisions of voters. I find that two stable equilibria may exist: first, a full abstention equilibrium, where the incumbent wins with certainty, which exists only if the incumbent's capability to stuff a ballot box is suffciently strong. Second, a more efficient coordination equilibrium, where a substantial share of a challenger's supporters vote and the probability of the incumbent being defeated is large. Since voters do not take into account positive externality they produce on other voters when deciding to cast their votes, participation in coordination equilibrium is still inefficiently low. Thus, subsidization as well as introducing compulsory voting may improve efficiency. Because the higher capability of the incumbent to stuff a ballot box discourages the participation of his own supporters and creates coordination incentives for the challenger's supporters, higher fraud does not always benefit the incumbent, even when costless. Additionally, the model simultaneously explains two empirical observations about fraudulent elections: a positive relationship between fraud and victory margin and a negative effect of fraud on turnout.

Suggested Citation

  • Dmitriy Vorobyev, 2014. "Participation in Fraudulent Elections," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp510, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp510
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    Cited by:

    1. Baghdasaryan, Vardan & Iannantuoni, Giovanna & Maggian, Valeria, 2019. "Electoral fraud and voter turnout: An experimental study," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 203-219.
    2. Baudier, Patricia & Kondrateva, Galina & Ammi, Chantal & Seulliet, Eric, 2021. "Peace engineering: The contribution of blockchain systems to the e-voting process," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 162(C).
    3. Dmitriy Vorobyev, 2020. "Information Disclosure in Elections with Sequential Costly Participation," Working Papers 388, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    voting; fraud; participation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption

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