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Strategic voting under proportional representation and coalition governments : a simulation and laboratory experiment

Listed author(s):
  • Meffert, Michael F.
  • Gschwend, Thomas
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    The theory of strategic voting has been tested in experiments for elections in single member districts with three candidates or parties. It is unclear whether it can explain strategic voting behavior in a fairly common type of political system, multi-party systems with proportional representation, minimum vote thresholds, and coalition governments. In this paper, we develop a (non-formal) strategic voting game and show in a simulation that the model produces election scenarios and outcomes with desirable characteristics. We then test the decision-theoretic model in a laboratory experiment. Participants with a purely instrumental (financial) motivation voted in a series of 25 independent elections. The availability of polls and coalition signals by parties was manipulated. The results show that voters are frequently able to make optimal or strategic vote decisions, but that voters also rely on simple decision heuristics and are highly susceptible to coalition signals by parties.

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    File URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/2513/1/dp07_55.pdf
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    Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbreich 504 in its series Papers with number 07-55.

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    Date of creation: 2007
    Handle: RePEc:mnh:spaper:2513
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    D-68131 Mannheim

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    Fax: (49) (0) 621-292-5594
    Web page: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/view/ubmaseries/90080.html
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    1. James Buchanan & Yong Yoon, 2006. "All voting is strategic," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 159-167, October.
    2. Forsythe, Robert & Rietz, Thomas & Myerson, Roger & Weber, Robert, 1996. "An Experimental Study of Voting Rules and Polls in Three-Candidate Elections," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 25(3), pages 355-383.
    3. Gschwend, Thomas, 2004. "Ticket-Splitting and Strategic Voting," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-06, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:01:p:127-144_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Alvarez, R. Michael & Nagler, Jonathan, 2000. "A New Approach for Modelling Strategic Voting in Multiparty Elections," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 30(01), pages 57-75, January.
    6. Cherry, Todd L & Kroll, Stephan, 2003. "Crashing the Party: An Experimental Investigation of Strategic Voting in Primary Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(3-4), pages 387-420, March.
    7. Eckel, Catherine & Holt, Charles A, 1989. "Strategic Voting in Agenda-Controlled Committee Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 763-773, September.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:82:y:1988:i:02:p:405-422_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:93:y:1999:i:01:p:51-67_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Fisher, Stephen D., 2004. "Definition and Measurement of Tactical Voting: The Role of Rational Choice," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(01), pages 152-166, January.
    11. Meffert, Michael F. & Gschwend, Thomas, 2007. "Polls, Coalition Signals, and Strategic Voting: An Experimental Investigation of Perceptions and Effects," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 07-63, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    12. Niemi, Richard G. & Written, Guy & Franklin, Mark N., 1992. "Constituency Characteristics, Individual Characteristics and Tactical Voting in the 1987 British General Election," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(02), pages 229-240, April.
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