Modeling the Outcomes of Vote-Casting in Actual Elections
41 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2010 Last revised: 18 Aug 2011
Date Written: January 18, 2011
We use two sets of ranking data, one from actual elections and the other from surveys of voters, to examine whether there is a discernable pattern in the outcomes of three-candidate elections. We evaluate twelve statistical models that make different assumptions about such a pattern, and find that a spatial model describes the observations in both data sets much more accurately than any of the other eleven models. Several of the models that we examine have been used in the past to analyze the frequencies of voting phenomena. However, our finding implies that any conclusions about the frequencies of voting phenomena in actual elections are suspect if they are reached on the basis of any of the eleven models that we examine besides the spatial model.
Keywords: spatial model of voting, Borda, Condorcet, impartial anonymous culture
JEL Classification: C4, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation