Inferring Strategic Voting

50 Pages Posted: 13 May 2009 Last revised: 5 May 2012

See all articles by Kei Kawai

Kei Kawai

Northwestern University

Yasutora Watanabe

University of Tokyo - Graduate School of Economics

Date Written: April 17, 2012


We estimate a model of strategic voting and quantify the impact it has on election outcomes. Because the model exhibits multiplicity of outcomes, we adopt a set estimator. Using Japanese general-election data, we find a large fraction [63.4%, 84.9%] of strategic voters, only a small fraction [1.4%, 4.2%] of whom voted for a candidate other than the one they most preferred (misaligned voting). Existing empirical literature has not distinguished between the two, estimating misaligned voting instead of strategic voting. Accordingly, while our estimate of strategic voting is high, our estimate of misaligned voting is comparable to previous studies.

Keywords: strategic voting, set estimation, partially identified models, discrete choice models

JEL Classification: D7, H8

Suggested Citation

Kawai, Kei and Watanabe, Yasutora, Inferring Strategic Voting (April 17, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Kei Kawai

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Yasutora Watanabe (Contact Author)

University of Tokyo - Graduate School of Economics ( email )


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