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Why Vote for Losers?

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  • Micael Castanheira

Abstract

Voting Theory generally concludes that -in first-past-the-post elections- 1) All voters should go to effective candidates (Duverger's Law); 2) Parties' platform should converge (Median Voter Theorem). Observations, though, suggest that such predictions are not met in practice. We show that divergence and dispersion of votes is a natural election outcome when there is uncertainty and repetition of elections. "Voting for Losers" increases the informational content of elections, and forces main parties to relocate towards extremists. As a result, they maximize their probability of being elected, not by converging to the median but by diverging to a certain extent. Ideological behavior results then from optimizing considerations alone.

Suggested Citation

  • Micael Castanheira, "undated". "Why Vote for Losers?," Working Papers 125, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:125
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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