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Do Voters Vote Sincerely? Second Version

Author

Listed:
  • Arianna Degan

    () (Département des sciences économiques, Université du Québec à Montréal)

  • Antonio Merlo

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

In this paper we address the following question: To what extent is the hypothesis that voters vote sincerely testable or falsifiable? We show that using data only on how individuals vote in a single election, the hypothesis that voters vote sincerely is irrefutable, regardless of the number of candidates competing in the election. On the other hand, using data on how the same individuals vote in multiple elections, the hypothesis that voters vote sincerely is potentially falsifiable, and we provide general conditions under which the hypothesis can be tested. We then consider an application of our theoretical framework and assess whether the behavior of voters is consistent with sincere voting in U.S. national elections in the post-war period. We find that by and large sincere voting can explain virtually all of the individual-level observations on voting behavior in presidential and congressional U.S. elections in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "Do Voters Vote Sincerely? Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-006, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 03 Jan 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:07-006
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    File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/working-papers/07-006.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    4. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-1341, November.
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    6. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2011. "A Structural Model Of Turnout And Voting In Multiple Elections," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-245, April.
    7. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    8. Amrita Dhillon & Susana Peralta, 2002. "Economic Theories Of Voter Turnout," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 332-352, June.
    9. Chari, V V & Jones, Larry E & Marimon, Ramon, 1997. "The Economics of Split-Ticket Voting in Representative Democracies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 957-976, December.
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    13. Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hans Gersbach & Oriol Tejada & Maik T. Schneider, 2014. "Coalition-Preclusion Contracts and Moderate Policies," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 14/195, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    2. Kei Kawai, 2013. "Campaign Finance in U.S. House Elections," 2013 Meeting Papers 1158, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Kei Kawai & Yasutora Watanabe, 2013. "Inferring Strategic Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 624-662, April.
    4. Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik T., 2012. "Tax contracts, party bargaining, and government formation," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 173-192.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    voting; spatial models; falsifiability; testing.;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques

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