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The New Theory of Strategic Voting

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  • David P. Myatt

    (St. Catherine's College)

Abstract

This is an analysis of strategic voting under qualified majority voting. Existing formal analyses of the plurality rule predict complete coordination of strategic voting: a strict interpretation of Duverger's Law. This conclusion is rejected. Unlike previous models, the popular support for each option is not commonly certain. Agents base their vote on both public and private signals of popular support. When private signals are the main source of information, the uniquely stable equilibrium entails only limited strategic voting and hence partial coordination. This is due to the surprising presence of negative feedback --- strategic voting is a self-attenuating phenomenon. The theory leads to the conclusion that multi-candidate support in a plurality electoral system is perfectly consistent with rational voting behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • David P. Myatt, 2000. "The New Theory of Strategic Voting," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1586, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1586
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roger B. Myerson & Robert J. Weber, 1988. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," Discussion Papers 782, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    2. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 2004. "Coordination risk and the price of debt," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 133-153, February.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:01:p:102-114_09 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Massimo Morelli, 2004. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 829-853.
    2. Todd R. Kaplan & Bradley J. Ruffle, 2012. "Which Way to Cooperate," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 1042-1068, September.
    3. Dhillon, Amrita & Lockwood, Ben, 2004. "When are plurality rule voting games dominance-solvable?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 55-75, January.
    4. Tandon, Sharad, 2012. "Election Outcomes and Food Security: Evidence from Consumption of Scheduled Castes and Tribes in India," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124414, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Laurent Bouton, 2013. "A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1248-1288.
    6. Osborne, Martin J. & Rubinstein, Ariel, 2003. "Sampling equilibrium, with an application to strategic voting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 434-441, November.
    7. David P. Myatt & Stephen D. Fisher, 2002. "Everything is Uncertain and Uncertainty is Everything: Strategic Voting in Simple Plurality Elections," Economics Series Working Papers 115, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    8. Jacob Goeree & Jens Gro├čer, 2007. "Welfare Reducing Polls," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 51-68, April.

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