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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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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. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
  2. Barry Nalebuff & Roni Shachar, 1997. "Follow The Leader: Theory And Evidence On Political Participation," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm57, Yale School of Management.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Yeon-Koo Che & Wouter Dessein & Navin Kartik, 2010. "Pandering to Persuade," Levine's Bibliography 661465000000000197, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Herrera, Helios; Morelli, Massimo, 2010. "Turnout and Power Sharing," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/12, European University Institute.
  7. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
  8. Faravelli, Marco & Sanchez-Pages, Santiago, 2012. "(Don’t) Make My Vote Count," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-07, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  9. 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.
  10. John Ledyard, 1983. "The Pure Theory of Large Two Candidate Elections," Discussion Papers 569, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Helios Herrera & Massimo Morelli & Salvatore Nunnari, 2014. "Turnout Across Democracies," NBER Working Papers 20451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  14. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000232, David K. Levine.
  15. Roger B. Myerson, 1997. "Large Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1189, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
  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. Jacob Goeree & Jens Großer, 2007. "Welfare Reducing Polls," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 51-68, April.
  19. repec:oup:restud:v:80:y:2013:i:1:p:277-312 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. 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.
  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. Krishna, Vijay & Morgan, John, 2012. "Voluntary voting: Costs and benefits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2083-2123.
  23. 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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