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Do Voters Vote Ideologically?, Third Version

Author

Listed:
  • Arianna Degan

    (Department of Economics, UQAM and CIRPEE)

  • 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 “ideologically†(i.e., they always vote for the candidate who is ideologically “closest†to them) testable or falsifiable? We show that using data only on how individuals vote in a single election, the hypothesis that voters vote ideologically 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 ideologically is potentially falsifiable, and we provide general conditions under which the hypothesis can be tested.

Suggested Citation

  • Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2007. "Do Voters Vote Ideologically?, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-034, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Aug 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:08-034
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    voting; spatial models; falsifiability; testing;
    All these keywords.

    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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