IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/13824.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Runoff Elections in the Laboratory

Author

Listed:
  • Bouton, Laurent
  • Gallego, Jorge
  • Llorente-Saguer, Aniol
  • Morton, Rebecca

Abstract

We study experimentally the properties of the majority runoff system and compare them to the ones of plurality rule, in the setup of a divided majority. Our focus is on Duverger's famous predictions that the plurality rule leads to a higher coordination of votes on a limited number of candidates than the majority runoff rule. Our experiments show that, in contradiction with Duverger's predictions, coordination forces are strong in majority runoff elections. We indeed observe similar levels of coordination under both rules, even when sincere voting is an equilibrium only under majority runoff. Our results suggest that the apparent desire to coordinate, and not vote sincerely, under the majority runoff rule is to some extent not rational. Finally, we find insignificant differences between runoff and plurality systems in terms of both electoral outcomes and welfare. This is so exactly because coordination forces are strong under both rules. But, this does not mean that the two rules are equally socially desirable. Majority runoff rule entails an additional cost: second rounds that take place frequently.

Suggested Citation

  • Bouton, Laurent & Gallego, Jorge & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Morton, Rebecca, 2019. "Runoff Elections in the Laboratory," CEPR Discussion Papers 13824, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13824
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13824
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2017. "Multicandidate elections: Aggregate uncertainty in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 132-150.
    2. Callander, Steven, 2005. "Duverger's Hypothesis, the Run-Off Rule, and Electoral Competition," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 209-232, July.
    3. Stephen Wright & William Riker, 1989. "Plurality and runoff systems and numbers of candidates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 155-175, February.
    4. Myerson, Roger B. & Weber, Robert J., 1993. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 102-114, March.
    5. Bouton, Laurent & Castanheira, Micael & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol, 2016. "Divided majority and information aggregation: Theory and experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 114-128.
    6. Laurent Bouton & Benjamin G. Ogden, 2017. "Group-based Voting in Multicandidate Elections," NBER Working Papers 23898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Thomas Piketty, 2000. "Voting as Communicating," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 169-191.
    8. Dewan, Torun & Myatt, David P., 2007. "Leading the Party: Coordination, Direction, and Communication," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 827-845, November.
    9. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2005. "A Drawback Of Electoral Competition," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1318-1348, December.
    10. Karine Van der Straeten & Jean-François Laslier & Nicolas Sauger & André Blais, 2010. "Strategic, sincere, and heuristic voting under four election rules: an experimental study," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(3), pages 435-472, September.
    11. Laurent Bouton & Micael Castanheira, 2012. "One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(1), pages 43-87, January.
    12. David P. Myatt, 2007. "On the Theory of Strategic Voting -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 255-281.
    13. Daron Acemoglu, 2005. "Constitutions, Politics and Economics: A Review Essay on Persson and Tabellini's "The Economic Effect of Constitutions"," NBER Working Papers 11235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Bouton, Laurent & Gratton, Gabriele, 2015. "Majority runoff elections: strategic voting and Duverger's hypothesis," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(2), May.
    15. Laurent Bouton, 2013. "A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1248-1288, June.
    16. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    17. Massimo Bordignon & Tommaso Nannicini & Guido Tabellini, 2016. "Moderating Political Extremism: Single Round versus Runoff Elections under Plurality Rule," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(8), pages 2349-2370, August.
    18. Myerson, Roger B., 2002. "Comparison of Scoring Rules in Poisson Voting Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 219-251, March.
    19. Fujiwara, Thomas, 2011. "A Regression Discontinuity Test of Strategic Voting and Duverger's Law," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 6(3–4), pages 197-233, November.
    20. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    21. Forsythe, Robert & Rietz, Thomas & Myerson, Roger & Weber, Robert, 1996. "An Experimental Study of Voting Rules and Polls in Three-Candidate Elections," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 25(3), pages 355-383.
    22. César Martinelli, 2002. "Simple plurality versus plurality runoff with privately informed voters," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 19(4), pages 901-919.
    23. repec:ulb:ulbeco:2013/162238 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Smith, John H, 1973. "Aggregation of Preferences with Variable Electorate," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(6), pages 1027-1041, November.
    25. Thomas R. Palfrey, 1984. "Spatial Equilibrium with Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 139-156.
    26. Fey, Mark, 1997. "Stability and Coordination in Duverger's Law: A Formal Model of Preelection Polls and Strategic Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 91(1), pages 135-147, March.
    27. Riker, William H., 1982. "The Two-party System and Duverger's Law: An Essay on the History of Political Science," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 753-766, December.
    28. Donald G. Saari, 2003. "Unsettling aspects of voting theory," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 22(3), pages 529-555, October.
    29. André Blais & Jean-François Laslier & Karine van der Straeten, 2016. "Voting Experiments," Post-Print halshs-01388615, HAL.
    30. Matt Golder, 2006. "Presidential Coattails and Legislative Fragmentation," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(1), pages 34-48, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Nikolas Tsakas & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2019. "Stress-Testing the Runoff Rule in the Laboratory," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 10-2019, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Laboratory experiments; Majority Runoff; Multicandidate Elections; Plurality;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13824. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.