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Electoral System and Number of Candidates: Candidate Entry under Plurality and Majority Runoff

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  • Damien Bol

    (UdeM - Université de Montréal)

  • André Blais

    (UdeM - Université de Montréal)

  • Jean-François Laslier

    () (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, 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)

  • Antonin Macé

    () (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

Abstract

We know that electoral systems have an effect on the number of competing candidates. However, a mystery remains concerning the impact of majority runoff. According to theory, the number of competing candidates should be equal (or only marginally larger) under majority runoff than under plurality. However, in real-life elections, this number is much higher under majority runoff. To provide new insights on this puzzle, we report the results of a laboratory experiment where subjects play the role of candidates in plurality and majority runoff elections. We use a candidate-only and sincere-voting model to isolate the effect of the electoral system on the decision of candidates to enter the election. We find very little difference between the two electoral systems. We thus re-affirm the mystery of the number of competing candidates under majority runoff.

Suggested Citation

  • Damien Bol & André Blais & Jean-François Laslier & Antonin Macé, 2015. "Electoral System and Number of Candidates: Candidate Entry under Plurality and Majority Runoff," Working Papers halshs-01168722, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01168722
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01168722
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brusco, Sandro & Dziubiński, Marcin & Roy, Jaideep, 2012. "The Hotelling–Downs model with runoff voting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 447-469.
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    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.

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