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The Marginal Voter's Curse

Author

Listed:
  • Helios Herrera

    (University of Warwick)

  • Aniol Llorente-Saguer

    (Queen Mary University of London)

  • Joseph C. McMurray

    (Brigham Young University)

Abstract

This paper proposes a rational model of voter participation by generalizing a common-value model of costless voting to include not just pivotal voting but also marginal voting incentives. A new strategic incentive for abstention arises in that case, to avoid the marginal voter's curse of pushing the policy outcome in the wrong direction. The marginal voter's curse presents a larger disincentive for voting than the swing voter's curse. Moreover, marginal motivations are shown to dominate pivotal motivations in large elections. Model predictions are confirmed in a laboratory experiment and applied in a comparative analysis of electoral rules.

Suggested Citation

  • Helios Herrera & Aniol Llorente-Saguer & Joseph C. McMurray, 2016. "The Marginal Voter's Curse," Working Papers 798, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:798
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    Cited by:

    1. Bouton, Laurent & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Malherbe, Frédéric, 2017. "Unanimous rules in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 179-198.
    2. Darius Schlangenotto & Wendelin Schnedler & Radovan Vadovič, 2020. "Against All Odds: Tentative Steps toward Efficient Information Sharing in Groups," Games, MDPI, vol. 11(3), pages 1-24, August.
    3. McMurray, Joseph, 2017. "Voting as communicating: Mandates, multiple candidates, and the signaling voter's curse," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 199-223.
    4. Gersbach, Hans & Mamageishvili, Akaki & Tejada, Oriol, 2022. "Appointed learning for the common good: Optimal committee size and monetary transfers," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 153-176.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Turnout; Information aggregation; Underdog effect; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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