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Euclidean Revealed Preferences: Testing the Spatial Voting Model

  • Marc Henry
  • Ismael Mourifié

In the spatial model of voting, voters choose the candidate closest to them in the ideological space. Recent work by (Degan and Merlo 2009) shows that it is falsifiable on the basis of individual voting data in multiple elections. We show how to tackle the fact that the model only partially identifies the distribution of voting profiles and we give a formal revealed preference test of the spatial voting model in 3 national elections in the US, and strongly reject the spatial model in all cases. We also construct confidence regions for partially identified voter characteristics in an augmented model with unobserved valence dimension, and identify the amount of voter heterogeneity necessary to reconcile the data with spatial preferences.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2011s-49.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2011s-49
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  1. Anna Bogomolnaïa & Jean-François Laslier, 2004. "Euclidean preferences," Working Papers hal-00242941, HAL.
  2. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Ian Crawford, 2005. "Best Nonparametric Bounds on Demand Responses," CAM Working Papers 2005-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
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  4. Nicholas Christakis & James Fowler & Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2010. "An empirical model for strategic network formation," CeMMAP working papers CWP16/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  6. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 1990. "On the compatibility of nested logit models with utility maximization," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 373-388, March.
  7. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2008. "Rationalizable Voting," Wallis Working Papers WP51, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  8. Norman Schofield, 2007. "The Mean Voter Theorem: Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Convergent Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 965-980.
  9. Degan, Arianna & Merlo, Antonio, 2009. "Do voters vote ideologically?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 1868-1894, September.
  10. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-59, July.
  11. Chesher, Andrew D, 1984. "Testing for Neglected Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 865-72, July.
  12. Li, Qi & Racine, Jeffrey S, 2008. "Nonparametric Estimation of Conditional CDF and Quantile Functions With Mixed Categorical and Continuous Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 423-434.
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