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A Two-Party System under the Proportional Rule is Possible: Strategic Voting in the Lab

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  • Francesco, De Sinopoli
  • Giovanna, Iannantuoni
  • Valeria, Maggian
  • Stefania, Ottone

Abstract

In this study, we implement a series of voting games in the laboratory to test whether a strategic voting behavior in a proportional system would arise and induce a two-party system. In each voting game, a finite number of subjects with single-peaked preferences, uniformly distributed on a 0–20 line, are asked to vote for a number within the interval 0–20. The policy outcome is the average of the chosen numbers—a realistic representation of a compromise between parties in a parliament elected through the proportional rule. Our main result shows that polarization and strategic voting occur in the proposed proportional rule scenario. Moreover, experience and information concerning the electoral outcome of the previous period drive individuals to opt for strategic voting.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco, De Sinopoli & Giovanna, Iannantuoni & Valeria, Maggian & Stefania, Ottone, 2018. "A Two-Party System under the Proportional Rule is Possible: Strategic Voting in the Lab," Working Papers 381, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 16 May 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:381
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin & Anke Gerber, 1998. "Political compromise and endogenous formation of coalitions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 15(3), pages 445-454.
    2. Francesco Sinopoli & Giovanna Iannantuoni, 2007. "A spatial voting model where proportional rule leads to two-party equilibria," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 35(2), pages 267-286, January.
    3. Karl H.Schlag, 2015. "Who gives Direction to Statistical Testing? Best Practice meets Mathematically Correct Tests," Vienna Economics Papers 1512, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:99:y:2005:i:02:p:185-199_05 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. André Blais & Jean-François Laslier & Annie Laurent & Nicolas Sauger & Karine Van Der Straeten, 2007. "One-round vs. Two-round Elections: An Experimental Study," Post-Print halshs-00754652, HAL.
    6. Karine Van der Straeten & Jean-François Laslier & Nicolas Sauger & André Blais, 2010. "Strategic, sincere, and heuristic voting under four election rules: an experimental study," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(3), pages 435-472, September.
    7. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, and Parliaments in Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967.
    8. Arnaud Dellis, 2013. "The two-party system under alternative voting procedures," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(1), pages 263-284, January.
    9. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    10. Aaron Kamm & Arthur Schram, 2013. "A Simultaneous Analysis of Turnout and Voting under Proportional Representation: Theory and Experiments," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-192/I, Tinbergen Institute.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Proportional representation; strategic voting; polarization; political compromise; laboratory experiment; information;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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