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Euclidean Revealed Preferences: Testing the Spatial Voting Model


  • Marc Henry

    (Departement de Sciences Economiques, Universite de Montleal)

  • Ismael Mourifie

    (Departement de Sciences Economiques, Universite de Montleal)


In the spatial model of voting, voters choose the candidate closest to them in the ideological space. Recent work by (Degan and Merlo 2009) shows that it is falsifiable on the basis of individual voting data in multiple elections. We show how to tackle the fact that the model only partially identifies the distribution of voting profiles and we give a formal revealed preference test of the spatial voting model in 3 national elections in the US, and strongly reject the spatial model in all cases. We also construct confidence regions for partially identified voter characteristics in an augmented model with unobserved valence dimension, and identify the amount of voter heterogeneity necessary to reconcile the data with spatial preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Henry & Ismael Mourifie, 2011. "Euclidean Revealed Preferences: Testing the Spatial Voting Model," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-822, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2011cf822

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    1. repec:eee:poleco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:107-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Florenz Plassmann & T. Tideman, 2014. "How frequently do different voting rules encounter voting paradoxes in three-candidate elections?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(1), pages 31-75, January.
    3. Laurens Cherchye & Sam Cosaert & Bram De Rock & Pieter Jan Kerstens & Frederic Vermeulen, 2017. "Individual Welfare Analysis for Collective Households," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2017-44, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Menezes, Mozart B.C. & da Silveira, Giovani J.C. & Drezner, Zvi, 2016. "Democratic elections and centralized decisions: Condorcet and Approval Voting compared with Median and Coverage locations," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 253(1), pages 195-203.

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