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Making Statements and Approval Voting

  • Enriqueta Aragones

    (Institut d’Analisi Economica, C.S.I.C.)

  • Itzhak Gilboa

    (Tel-Aviv University and Cowles Foundation, Yale University)

  • Andrew Weiss


    (Department of Economics, Boston University)

We assume that people have a need to make statements, and construct a model in which this need is the sole determinant of voting behavior. In this model, an individual selects a ballot that makes as close a statement as possible to her ideal point, where abstaining from voting is a possible (null) statement. We show that in such a model, a political system that adopts approval voting may be expected to enjoy a significantly higher rate of participation in elections than a comparable system with plurality rule.

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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1531.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1531
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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Brams, S.J. & Fishburn, P.C., 2003. "Going from Theory to Practice: The Mixed Success of Approval Voting," Working Papers 03-06, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  3. Enriqueta Aragonés & Andrew Postlewaite, 1999. "Ambiguity in election games," Economics Working Papers 364, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Fishburn, Peter C., 1978. "Axioms for approval voting: Direct proof," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 180-185, October.
  5. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
  6. Robert J. Weber, 1995. "Approval Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 39-49, Winter.
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