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Voting By Altruists: Some Electoral Implications of Civic Virtue

24 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2007  

Roger D. Congleton

West Virginia University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Center for Study of Public Choice

Date Written: June 1, 2007

Abstract

This paper examines some neglected implications of altruism in deterministic voting models in settings where voters differ in their altruistic propensities. Of particular interest is the extent to which relatively small groups of altruistic voters can affect electoral outcomes by simply casting votes. Ordinarily, in deterministic electoral models one expects small groups with "odd" policy preferences to have little impact on electoral outcomes. This paper demonstrates that relatively small groups of altruistic voters can have substantial effects on policies entirely determined by median voter preferences.

Keywords: Altruistic Voting, Median Voter, Majority Rule, Efficiency of Democracy, Redistribution, Public Goods, Foreign Policy

JEL Classification: D7, H11, D64

Suggested Citation

Congleton, Roger D., Voting By Altruists: Some Electoral Implications of Civic Virtue (June 1, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1030780 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1030780

Roger D. Congleton (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - Department of Economics ( email )

PO Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

HOME PAGE: http://rdc1.net

George Mason University - Center for Study of Public Choice ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://rdc1.net

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