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Robust Rational Turnout

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Abstract

We establish that, except for a finite set of common costs of participation, all equilibria of a class of complete information voting games (as in Palfrey and Rosenthal (1983)) are regular. Thus, all the equilibria of these games (including those exhibiting high turnout rates) are robust to small but arbitrary payoff perturbations, and survive in nearby games with incomplete information about voting costs and/or about the fraction of supporters of the two candidates. We also show that all the equilibria of these complete information games exhibit minimal heterogeneity of behavior, so that the strategies of indifferent players are characterized by at most two probabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Tasos Kalandrakis, 2006. "Robust Rational Turnout," Wallis Working Papers WP43, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:roc:wallis:wp43
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    1. Herrera, Helios & Martinelli, Cesar, 2006. "Group formation and voter participation," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(4), pages 461-487, December.
    2. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1984. "Participation and the provision of discrete public goods: a strategic analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-193, July.
    3. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
    4. Roger B. Myerson, 1998. "Population uncertainty and Poisson games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 27(3), pages 375-392.
    5. Levine, David K. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2007. "The Paradox of Voter Participation? A Laboratory Study," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 101(01), pages 143-158, February.
    6. John E. Roemer, 2006. "Kantian Allocations," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000441, UCLA Department of Economics.
    7. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2007. "On participation games with complete information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 35(3), pages 337-352, February.
    8. Govindan, Srihari & Reny, Philip J. & Robson, Arthur J., 2003. "A short proof of Harsanyi's purification theorem," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 369-374, November.
    9. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Francesco Sinopoli & Giovanna Iannantuoni, 2005. "On the generic strategic stability of Nash equilibria if voting is costly," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 25(2), pages 477-486, February.
    12. 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.
    13. Taylor, Curtis & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2005. "Public Information and Electoral Bias," Working Papers 05-11, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    14. Jeffrey S. Rosenthal & Martin J. Osborne & Matthew A. Turner, 2000. "Meetings with Costly Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 927-943, September.
    15. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
    16. 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.
    17. repec:cup:apsrev:v:79:y:1985:i:01:p:62-78_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
    19. Curtis R. Taylor & Huseyin Yildirim, 2006. "An Analysis of Rational Voting with Private Values and Cost Uncertainty," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000060, UCLA Department of Economics.
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    Keywords

    Turnout; Regular Equilibrium.;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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