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Condorcet Jury Theorem in a Spatial Model of Elections

  • Sourav Bhattacharya

In this paper, we study conditions under which the Condorcet Jury Theorem extends to the spatial model of elections. In the model, individuals with ideal points distributed over a unidimensional policy space vote over two alternatives, the location of one of which is uncertain. By employing the techniques used in Bhattacharya (2013), we identify the entire set of symmetric equilibria for almost every voting rule. If there is uncertainty about whether the outcome induced by the policy alternative is to the right or to the left of the status quo, then an election produces three outcomes, exactly one of which is full information equivalent. In the other two equilibria, the status quo always wins. This Â…finding provides a novel explanation for status quo bias in referenda and the growing incumbent advantage in US elections.

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Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 517.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision: Nov 2013
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:517
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  1. Hao Li & Sherwin Rosen & Wing Suen, 2000. "Conflicts and Common Interests in Committees," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0341, Econometric Society.
  2. Sourav Bhattacharya, 2013. "Preference Monotonicity and Information Aggregation in Elections," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(3), pages 1229-1247, 05.
  3. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca Morton & Thomas Palfrey, 2007. "The Swing Voter’s Curse in the Laboratory," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000760, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Roger B. Myerson, 1994. "Population Uncertainty and Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1102R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
  6. Myerson, Roger B., 1998. "Extended Poisson Games and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 111-131, October.
  7. Oliveros, Santiago, 2013. "Abstention, ideology and information acquisition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 871-902.
  8. Wit, Jorgen, 1998. "Rational Choice and the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 364-376, February.
  9. Meirowitz, Adam, 2006. "Designing Institutions to Aggregate Preferences and Information," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(4), pages 373-392, October.
  10. John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Direct Democracy Works," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 185-206, Spring.
  11. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  12. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2008. "Direct democracy: obstacle to reform?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 81-93, June.
  13. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
  14. Adam Meirowitz, 2007. "Communication and bargaining in the spatial model," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 251-266, January.
  15. Myerson, Roger B., 2000. "Large Poisson Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 7-45, September.
  16. Adam Meirowitz, 2002. "Informative voting and condorcet jury theorems with a continuum of types," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 219-236.
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