One Person, Many Votes: Divided Majority and Information Aggregation
44 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2008
Date Written: February 2008
This paper compares the properties of three electoral systems when voters have imperfect information. Imperfect information blurs voter decisions and may divorce the electoral outcome from the true preferences of the electorate. The challenge for electoral design is therefore to translate the (sometimes contradictory) elements of information dispersed in the electorate into the most efficient aggregate outcome. We propose a novel model of multi-candidate elections in Poisson games, and show that Approval Voting produces a unique equilibrium that is fully efficient: the candidate who wins the election is the one preferred by a majority of the electorate under full information. By contrast, traditional systems such as Plurality and Runoff elections cannot cope satisfactorily with information imperfections.
Keywords: Approval Voting, Information Aggregation, Multicandidate Elections, Poisson Games
JEL Classification: C72, D72, D81, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation