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Do Voters Vote Sincerely?

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  • Degan, Arianna
  • Merlo, Antonio

Abstract

In this paper we address the following question: To what extent is the hypothesis that voters vote sincerely testable or falsifiable? We show that using data only on how individuals vote in a single election, the hypothesis that voters vote sincerely is irrefutable, regardless of the number of candidates competing in the election. On the other hand, using data on how the same individuals vote in multiple elections, the hypothesis that voters vote sincerely is potentially falsifiable, and we provide general conditions under which the hypothesis can be tested. We then consider an application of our theoretical framework and assess whether the behaviour of voters is consistent with sincere voting in U.S. national elections in the post-war period. We find that by and large sincere voting can explain virtually all of the individual-level observations on voting behaviour in presidential and congressional U.S. elections in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Degan, Arianna & Merlo, Antonio, 2007. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6165, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6165
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pierre-André Chiappori & Olivier Donni, 2005. "Learning From a Piece of Pie: The Empirical Content of Nash Bargaining," THEMA Working Papers 2006-07, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
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    4. Chari, V V & Jones, Larry E & Marimon, Ramon, 1997. "The Economics of Split-Ticket Voting in Representative Democracies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 957-976, December.
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    11. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2011. "A Structural Model Of Turnout And Voting In Multiple Elections," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-245, April.
    12. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & Gérard Roland, 2006. "Dimensions of politics in the European Parliament," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7750, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    13. Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hans Gersbach & Oriol Tejada & Maik T. Schneider, 2014. "Coalition-Preclusion Contracts and Moderate Policies," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 14/195, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    2. Kalandrakis, Tasos, 2010. "Rationalizable voting," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5(1), January.
    3. Gábor Virág, 2008. "Playing for Your Own Audience: Extremism in Two-Party Elections," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(5), pages 891-922, October.
    4. Joseph McMurray, 2008. "Information and Voting: the Wisdom of the Experts versus the Wisdom of the Masses," Wallis Working Papers WP59, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
    5. Massimo Bordignon & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Moderating Political Extremism: Single Round vs Runoff Elections under Plurality Rule," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza ief0087, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    6. Kei Kawai, 2013. "Campaign Finance in U.S. House Elections," 2013 Meeting Papers 1158, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Stephen Coate & Brian Knight, 2007. "Socially Optimal Districting: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1409-1471.
    8. Kei Kawai & Yasutora Watanabe, 2013. "Inferring Strategic Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 624-662, April.
    9. Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik T., 2012. "Tax contracts, party bargaining, and government formation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 173-192.
    10. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias, 2010. "The binary policy model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 661-688, March.
    11. Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik, 2008. "Tax Contracts and Government Formation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7084, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    falsifiability; spatial models; testing; voting;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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