Group-Based Voting in Multicandidate Elections

48 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2017 Last revised: 20 Apr 2022

See all articles by Laurent Bouton

Laurent Bouton

Georgetown University - Department of Economics

Benjamin Ogden

Texas A&M University, Department of Political Science

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

We study the properties of the group-based model of voting in elections with more than two candidates. We consider two of the most widely used electoral rules around the world: plurality and majority runoff. We fully characterize the set of equilibria under both rules and identify the features of an election that favor different types of voting behavior: either sincere voting or coordination behind a limited number of candidates. Comparing plurality and majority runoff, we find that the incentives to vote sincerely are stronger under the latter, in line with empirical evidence. Our analysis uncovers several strengths of the group-based model of voting: it is tractable, the predictions are empirically sound, and, due to equilibrium uniqueness for a broad set of parameter values, quite crisp. Some results appear sensitive to the composition of groups in the electorate, highlighting the structure of group identity as a key determinant of voting behavior.

Suggested Citation

Bouton, Laurent and Ogden, Benjamin, Group-Based Voting in Multicandidate Elections (October 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23898, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3049722

Laurent Bouton (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Benjamin Ogden

Texas A&M University, Department of Political Science

College Station, TX 77843-4353
United States

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