Path-Dependency and Coordination in Multi-Candidate Elections
Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management
City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK)
August 14, 2011
We consider a behavioral model of voting in multi-candidate elections. In case of satisfactory payoffs from the poll leader voters increase their propensity to vote for the leading candidate, while in case of unsatisfactory payoffs voters decrease their propensity. We first show that in any stationary distribution and for any configuration of the model, the winner receives a share of 50% of votes. Using results from the 1992 England elections, we show that this implication is consistent with voting data. Second, we show that the process is path-dependent: whether voters manage to coordinate on the majority candidate critically depends on the initial state. Moreover, even if the majority candidate is elected for sure, voting behavior is only partially coordinated.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Formal Political Theory
JEL Classification: C72, C73, D70, D72, H11
Date posted: August 17, 2011 ; Last revised: August 31, 2011
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