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The Welfare Economics of Tactical Voting in Democracies: A Partial Identification Equilibrium Analysis

Listed author(s):
  • Herman Demeze

    (Department of Economics, University of Bielefeld)

  • Issofa Moyouwou

    (École Normale Supérieure (UYI) and THEMA, Department of Economics of Université de Cergy Pontoise)

  • Roland Pongou

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa)

Registered author(s):

    The fact that voters can manipulate election outcomes by misrepresenting their true preferences over competing political parties or candidates is commonly viewed as a major law of democratic voting systems. It is argued that insincere voting typically leads to suboptimal voting outcomes. However, it is also understood that insincere voting is rational behavior as it may result in the election of a candidate preferred by the voter to the candidate who would otherwise be selected. The relative magnitude of the welfare gains and losses of those who benefit from and those adversely affected by insincere voting behavior is consequently an important empirical issue. We address this question by providing exact asymptotic bounds on the welfare effects, in equilibrium, of insincere voting for an infinite class of democratic rules. We find, for instance, that preference manipulation benefits one-half to two-thirds of the population in three-candidate elections held under first-past-the-post, and one-third to one-hundred percent of the population in antiplurality elections. These bounds differ from those obtained under out-of-equilibrium manipulation. Our partial identification analysis provides a novel approach to evaluating mechanisms as a function of attitude towards risk, and it has practical implications for the choice of election rules by a mechanism designer facing a worst-case or a best-case objective. It also provides a new answer to the longstanding question of why certain rules, such as first-past-the-post, are more common in practice.

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    File URL: http://socialsciences.uottawa.ca/economics/sites/socialsciences.uottawa.ca.economics/files/1611e.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Ottawa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1611e.

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    Length: 49 pages
    Date of creation: 2016
    Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:1611e
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    Web page: http://www.socialsciences.uottawa.ca/eco/eng/index.asp
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    1. Kim-Sau Chung & J.C. Ely, 2007. "Foundations of Dominant-Strategy Mechanisms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 447-476.
    2. Diffo Lambo, Lawrence & Pongou, Roland & Tchantcho, Bertrand & Wambo, Pierre, 2015. "Networked politics: political cycles and instability under social influences," MPRA Paper 65641, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Ilya Segal, 2003. "Optimal Pricing Mechanisms with Unknown Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 509-529, June.
    4. Donald Campbell & Jerry Kelly, 2009. "Gains from manipulating social choice rules," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 40(3), pages 349-371, September.
    5. Greenberg, Joseph & Monderer, Dov & Shitovitz, Benyamin, 1996. "Multistage Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1415-1437, November.
    6. Ehlers, Lars & Peters, Hans & Storcken, Ton, 2004. "Threshold strategy-proofness: on manipulability in large voting problems," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 103-116, October.
    7. Satterthwaite, Mark Allen, 1975. "Strategy-proofness and Arrow's conditions: Existence and correspondence theorems for voting procedures and social welfare functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 187-217, April.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:01:p:102-114_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Moyouwou, Issofa & Pongou, Roland & Tchantcho, Bertrand, 2015. "Fraudulent Democracy: A Dynamic Ordinal Game Approach," MPRA Paper 65583, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Schummer, James, 2004. "Almost-dominant strategy implementation: exchange economies," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 154-170, July.
    11. Salvador Barberà & Dolors Berga & Bernardo Moreno, 2016. "Group Strategy-Proofness in Private Good Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 1073-1099, April.
    12. Goertz, Johanna M.M. & Maniquet, François, 2011. "On the informational efficiency of simple scoring rules," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1464-1480, July.
    13. Myerson, Roger B., 2002. "Comparison of Scoring Rules in Poisson Voting Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 219-251, March.
    14. Leonid Hurwicz & Leonard Shapiro, 1978. "Incentive Structures Maximizing Residual Gain under Incomplete Information," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(1), pages 180-191, Spring.
    15. Saari, Donald G., 1999. "Explaining All Three-Alternative Voting Outcomes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 313-355, August.
    16. Donald Campbell & Jerry Kelly, 2014. "Breadth of loss due to manipulation," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(2), pages 393-414, February.
    17. Yves Sprumont, 1995. "Strategyproof Collective Choice in Economic and Political Environments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(1), pages 68-107, February.
    18. Diffo Lambo, Lawrence & Pongou, Roland & Tchantcho, Bertrand & Wambo, Pierre, 2015. "Networked Politics: Political Cycles and Instability under Social Influences," MPRA Paper 65598, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Gibbard, Allan, 1973. "Manipulation of Voting Schemes: A General Result," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 587-601, July.
    20. William Vickrey, 1960. "Utility, Strategy, and Social Decision Rules," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 507-535.
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