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Incentives to Cultivate Favored Minorities under Alternative Electoral Systems

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  • Roger B. Myerson

Abstract

A simple model is used to compare, under different electoral systems, the incentives for candidates to create inequalities among otherwise homogeneous voters, by making campaign promises that favor small groups, rather than appealing equally to all voters. In this game model, each candidate generates offers for voters independently out of a distribution that is chosen by the candidate, subject only to the constraints that offers must be nonnegative and have mean 1. Symmetric equilibria with sincere voting are analyzed for two-candidate elections, and for multicandidate elections under rank-scoring rules, approval voting, and single transferable vote. Voting rules that can guarantee representation for minorities in multiseat elections generate, in this model, the most severely unequal campaign promises.

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  • Roger B. Myerson, 1992. "Incentives to Cultivate Favored Minorities under Alternative Electoral Systems," Discussion Papers 1000, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1000
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    1. Simon, Leo K & Zame, William R, 1990. "Discontinuous Games and Endogenous Sharing Rules," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 861-872, July.
    2. Myerson, Roger B. & Weber, Robert J., 1993. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 102-114, March.
    3. Reed, Steven R., 1990. "Structure and Behaviour: Extending Duverger's Law to the Japanese Case," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 335-356, July.
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