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Can Non-Expected Utility Theories Explain the Paradox of Not-Voting?

Author

Listed:
  • Serge Blondel

    (GRANEM - Groupe de Recherche Angevin en Economie et Management - Institut National de l'Horticulture et du Paysage - AGROCAMPUS OUEST - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement - UA - Université d'Angers)

  • Louis Lévy-Garboua

    () (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CIRANO - Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations - UQAM - Université du Québec à Montréal = University of Québec in Montréal)

Abstract

Many people vote in large elections with costs to vote although the expected benefits would seem to be infinitesimal to a rational mind. We exhibit two necessary conditions that a theory of rational decision must satisfy in order to solve the paradox. We then show that prospect and regret theories cannot solve it because each theory meets either one or the other necessary condition, but not both. However, the paradox of not voting is consistent with an amended version of third-generation prospect theory in which the reference is merely to vote or abstain.

Suggested Citation

  • Serge Blondel & Louis Lévy-Garboua, 2011. "Can Non-Expected Utility Theories Explain the Paradox of Not-Voting?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00665947, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-00665947
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00665947
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    paradox of not voting; probability transformation; reference point; regret;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making

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