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Voting with preferences over margins of victory



This paper analyzes a two-alternative voting model with the distinctive feature that voters have preferences over margins of victory. We study voting contests with a finite as well as an infinite number of voters, and with and without mandatory voting. The main result of the paper is the existence and characterization of a unique equilibrium outcome in all those situations. At equilibrium, voters who prefer a larger support for one of the alternatives vote for such alternative. The model also provides a formal argument for the conditional sincerity voting condition in Alesina and Rosenthal (1995) and the benefit of voting function in Llavador (2006). Finally, we offer new insights on explaining why some citizens may vote strategically for an alternative different from the one declared as the most preferred.

Suggested Citation

  • Humberto Llavador, 2005. "Voting with preferences over margins of victory," Economics Working Papers 900, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:900

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Francesco Sinopoli & Giovanna Iannantuoni, 2007. "A spatial voting model where proportional rule leads to two-party equilibria," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 35(2), pages 267-286, January.
    2. George Stigler, 1972. "Economic competition and political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 91-106, September.
    3. Humberto Llavador, 2006. "Electoral Platforms, Implemented Policies, and Abstention," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(1), pages 55-81, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ming Li & Dipjyoti Majumdar, 2010. "A Psychologically Based Model of Voter Turnout," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(5), pages 979-1002, October.
    2. Herrera, Helios & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & McMurray, Joseph C., 2016. "The Marginal Voter's Curse," CEPR Discussion Papers 11463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. 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.

    More about this item


    Margin of victory; plurality; abstention; strategic voting; committee voting; elections;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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