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Strategic, Sincere and Heuristic Voting under Four Election Rules: An Experimental Study

  • Blais, André
  • Laslier, Jean-François
  • Sauger, Nicolas
  • Van Der Straeten, Karine

We report on laboratory experiments on voting. In a setting where subjects have single-peaked preferences we find that the rational choice theory provides very good predictions of actual individual behavior in one-round and approval voting elections, but fares poorly in explaining vote choice under two-round elections. We conclude that voters behave strategically as far as strategic computations are not too demanding, in which case they rely on simple heuristics (in two-round elections) or they just vote sincerely (in single transferable vote elections).

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 09-065.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Publication status: Published in Social Choice and Welfare, vol.�35, n°3, mars 2010, p.�435-472.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:21952
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Web page: http://www.tse-fr.eu/

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  1. Sebastian Kube & Clemens Puppe, 2009. "(When and how) do voters try to manipulate?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 39-52, April.
  2. Plott, Charles R & Levine, Michael E, 1978. "A Model of Agenda Influence on Committee Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(1), pages 146-60, March.
  3. Virginie Béhue & Pierre Favardin & Dominique Lepelley, 2009. "La manipulation stratégique des règles de vote : une étude expérimentale," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 75(4), pages 503-516.
  4. André Blais & Jean-François Laslier & Annie Laurent & Nicolas Sauger & Karine Van-Der-Straeten, 2007. "One Round versus Two Round Elections: An Experimental Study," Working Papers hal-00243055, HAL.
  5. Eckel, Catherine & Holt, Charles A, 1989. "Strategic Voting in Agenda-Controlled Committee Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 763-73, September.
  6. Rietz, Thomas, 2008. "Three-way Experimental Election Results: Strategic Voting, Coordinated Outcomes and Duverger's Law," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  7. André Blais, 2002. "Why Is there So Little Strategic Voting in Canadian Plurality Rule Elections?," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 50(3), pages 445-454, 08.
  8. Bag, Parimal Kanti & Sabourian, Hamid & Winter, Eyal, 2009. "Multi-stage voting, sequential elimination and Condorcet consistency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1278-1299, May.
  9. Roger B. Myerson & Robert J. Weber, 1988. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," Discussion Papers 782, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. André Blais & Simon Labbé-St-Vincent & Jean-François Laslier & Nicolas Sauger & Karine Van Der Straeten, 2008. "Vote choice in one round and two round elections," Working Papers hal-00335060, HAL.
  11. Moulin, Herve, 1979. "Dominance Solvable Voting Schemes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1137-51, November.
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