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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
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Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:474
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  1. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
  2. Özgür Evren, 2012. "Altruism and Voting: A Large-Turnout Result That Does not Rely on Civic Duty or Cooperative Behavior," Working Papers w0173, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  3. Myerson, Roger B., 2000. "Large Poisson Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 7-45, September.
  4. John Ledyard, 1984. "The pure theory of large two-candidate elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 7-41, January.
  5. Herrera, Helios; Morelli, Massimo, 2010. "Turnout and Power Sharing," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/12, European University Institute.
  6. Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999. "Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 525-547, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Yeon-Koo Che & Wouter Dessein & Navin Kartik, 2010. "Pandering to Persuade," Levine's Bibliography 661465000000000163, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000232, David K. Levine.
  10. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
  11. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 2012. "Voluntary voting: Costs and benefits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2083-2123.
  12. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2012. "(Don't) Make My Vote Count," ESE Discussion Papers 213, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  15. Jacob Goeree & Jens Großer, 2007. "Welfare Reducing Polls," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 51-68, April.
  16. Helios Herrera & Massimo Morelli & Salvatore Nunnari, 2014. "Turnout Across Democracies," NBER Working Papers 20451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Castanheira, Micael, 2003. "Victory margins and the paradox of voting," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 817-841, November.
  20. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. repec:oup:restud:v:80:y:2013:i:1:p:277-312 is not listed on IDEAS
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