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Mandate and Paternalism: A Theory of Large Elections

We propose a game theoretic model of large elections that incorporates the assumption that mandate matters. This innovation is motivated by empirical evidence that US Representatives with larger victory margins on average vote in a more partisan manner. Without relying on preference for voting, this new model predicts strictly positive limiting turnout rates in a costly voting environment as the number of paternalistic voters grows arbitrarily large. The model also preserves stylized comparative statics results of costly voting models, including the underdog effect and the competition effect.

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File URL: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/abstract/474.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia in its series Discussion Papers Series with number 474.

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Date of creation: 17 Dec 2012
Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:474
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  1. Evren, Özgür, 2012. "Altruism and voting: A large-turnout result that does not rely on civic duty or cooperative behavior," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2124-2157.
  2. Yeon-Koo Che & Wouter Dessein & Navin Kartik, 2013. "Pandering to Persuade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 47-79, February.
  3. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
  4. Myerson, Roger B., 2000. "Large Poisson Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 7-45, September.
  5. Castanheira, Micael, 2003. "Victory margins and the paradox of voting," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 817-841, November.
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  7. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
  8. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
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  10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Krasa, Stefan & Polborn, Mattias K., 2009. "Is mandatory voting better than voluntary voting?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 275-291, May.
  12. Helios Herrera & Massimo Morelli & Salvatore Nunnari, 2014. "Turnout Across Democracies," NBER Working Papers 20451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
  14. John Ledyard, 1984. "The pure theory of large two-candidate elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 7-41, January.
  15. Jacob Goeree & Jens Großer, 2007. "Welfare Reducing Polls," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 51-68, April.
  16. Marco Faravelli & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2015. "(Don’t) Make My Vote Count," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 27(4), pages 544-569, October.
  17. Taylor, Curtis R. & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2010. "A unified analysis of rational voting with private values and group-specific costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 457-471, November.
  18. Coate, Stephen & Conlin, Michael & Moro, Andrea, 2008. "The performance of pivotal-voter models in small-scale elections: Evidence from Texas liquor referenda," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 582-596, April.
  19. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
  20. Helios Herrera & Massimo Morelli & Thomas Palfrey, 2014. "Turnout and Power Sharing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(574), pages 131-162, 02.
  21. Harsanyi, John C., 1992. "Game and decision theoretic models in ethics," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 19, pages 669-707 Elsevier.
  22. repec:cup:apsrev:v:79:y:1985:i:01:p:62-78_22 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
  24. Ronny Razin, 2003. "Signaling and Election Motivations in a Voting Model with Common Values and Responsive Candidates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1083-1119, 07.
  25. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 2012. "Voluntary voting: Costs and benefits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2083-2123.
  26. Joseph C. McMurray, 2013. "Aggregating Information by Voting: The Wisdom of the Experts versus the Wisdom of the Masses," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 277-312.
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