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An Evolutionary Analysis of Turnout With Conformist Citizens

  • Massimiliano Landi

    ()

    (School of Economics, Singapore Management University)

  • Mauro Sodini

    ()

    (Dipartimento di Statistica e Matematica Applicata all'Economia, Universita degli Studi di Pisa)

We propose an evolutionary analysis of a voting game where citizens have a preference for conformism that adds to the instrumental preference for the electoral outcome. Multiple equilibria arise, and some generate high turnout. Simulations of best response dynamics show that high turnout is asymptotically stable if conformism matters but its likelihood depends on the reference group for conformism: high turnout is more likely when voters care about their own group's choice, as this better overrides the free rider problem of voting games. Comparative statics on the voting cost distribution, the population's size or the groups' composition are also done.

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Paper provided by Singapore Management University, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 25-2010.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in SMU Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series
Handle: RePEc:siu:wpaper:25-2010
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  1. Roger B. Myerson, 1997. "Large Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1189, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
  3. Klick, Jonathan & Parisi, Francesco, 2008. "Social networks, self-denial, and median preferences: Conformity as an evolutionary strategy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1319-1327, August.
  4. 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.
  5. João Amaro de Matos & Pedro Barros, 2004. "Social Norms and the Paradox of Elections’ Turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 239-255, October.
  6. John Conley & Ali Toossi & Myrna Wooders, 2006. "Memetics and voting: how nature may make us public spirited," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 71-90, December.
  7. Rotemberg, Julio J., 2005. "Attitude-Dependent Altruism, Turnout and Voting," CEPR Discussion Papers 5146, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Sieg, Gernot & Schulz, Christof, 1995. " Evolutionary Dynamics in the Voting Game," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(1-2), pages 157-72, October.
  9. Roger B. Myerson, 1994. "Population Uncertainty and Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1102, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Massimiliano Landi & Mauro Sodini, 2010. "Conformism and Turnout," Working Papers 24-2010, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  11. DHILLON, Amrita & PERALTA, Susana, . "Economic theories of voter turnout," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1563, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Benny Geys, 2006. "'Rational' Theories of Voter Turnout: A Review," Political Studies Review, Political Studies Association, vol. 4(1), pages 16-35.
  13. Meirowitz, Adam & Shotts, Kenneth W., 2009. "Pivots versus signals in elections," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 744-771, March.
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