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Incomplete information, proportional representation and strategic voting

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  • Orestis Troumpounis
  • Dimitrios Xefteris

Abstract

We introduce incomplete information to a multiparty election under proportional representation: each voter knows her preferences and votes strategically to maximize her payoffs, but is uncertain about the number and the preferences of the other voters. Parties are assumed to be purely office motivated and, hence, the resulting governments are always minimum winning. In this framework we prove a) generic existence of equilibria where only two parties receive a positive fraction of the votes and therefore lead to single party governments and b) generic inexistence of equilibria that lead to coalition governments. That is, contrary to common wisdom, a proportional rule is found not to promote sincere voting and to be favorable towards single party governments. The existence of two-party equilibria that lead to single party governments is robust to parties having ideological concerns.

Suggested Citation

  • Orestis Troumpounis & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2015. "Incomplete information, proportional representation and strategic voting," Working Papers 76166026, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:lan:wpaper:76166026
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Balduzzi & Sandro Brusco, 2019. "Proportional Systems with Free Entry. A Citizen-Candidate Model," Department of Economics Working Papers 19-01, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
    2. Hayrullah Dindar & Gilbert Laffond & Jean Lainé, 2021. "Referendum Paradox for Party-List Proportional Representation," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 191-220, February.
    3. Bol, Damien & Matakos, Konstantinos & Troumpounis, Orestis & Xefteris, Dimitrios, 2019. "Electoral rules, strategic entry and polarization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 178(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Proportional elections; strategic voters; incomplete information; Duverger's Hypothesis; Poisson games; Gamson's Law;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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