DP12374 Ethical Voting in Multicandidate Elections

Author(s): Laurent Bouton, Benjamin Ogden
Publication Date: October 2017
Keyword(s): Ethical Voting, Group-based Voting, Majority Runoff Rule, Multicandidate Elections, Plurality Rule
JEL(s): C72, D72
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12374

We study the behavior of ethical voters in multicandidate elections. We consider two common electoral rules: plurality and majority runoff. Our model delivers crisper predictions than those of the pivotal voter model. An equilibrium always exists, and is unique for a broad range of parameter values. There are two types of equilibria: (i) the sincere voting equilibrium (voters vote for their most-preferred candidate), and (ii) Duverger's Law equilibria (two candidates attract all the votes). These never coexist. We identify the features of an election that favor sincere voting. Consistent with evidence, incentives to vote sincerely are stronger under majority runoff.