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Identification and Estimation of Preference Distributions When Voters Are Ideological

  • Antonio Merlo


    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Aureo de Paula


    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

This paper studies the nonparametric identification and estimation of voters' preferences when voters are ideological. We build on the methods introduced by Degan and Merlo (2009) representing elections as Voronoi tessellations of the ideological space. We exploit the properties of this geometric structure to establish that voter preference distributions and other parameters of interest can be identified from aggregate electoral data. We also show that these objects can be consistently estimated using the methodology proposed by Ai and Chen (2003) and we illustrate our analysis by performing an actual estimation using data from the 1999 European Parliament elections.

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Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 11-001.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 31 Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:11-001
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  12. Degan, Arianna & Merlo, Antonio, 2009. "Do voters vote ideologically?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 1868-1894, September.
  13. Stock J.H. & Watson M.W., 2002. "Forecasting Using Principal Components From a Large Number of Predictors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 1167-1179, December.
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  15. Spenkuch, Jörg, 2013. "On the Extent of Strategic Voting," MPRA Paper 50198, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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