Identification and Estimation of Preference Distributions When Voters are Ideological

48 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2011  

Antonio Merlo

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics; Rice University

Aureo de Paula

University College London - Department of Economics; Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Sao Paulo School of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 31, 2010

Abstract

This paper studies the nonparametric identification and estimation of voters' preferences when voters are ideological. We build on the methods introduced by Degan and Merlo (2009) representing elections as Voronoi tessellations of the ideological space. We exploit the properties of this geometric structure to establish that voter preference distributions and other parameters of interest can be identified from aggregate electoral data. We also show that these objects can be consistently estimated using the methodology proposed by Ai and Chen (2003) and we illustrate our analysis by performing an actual estimation using data from the 1999 European Parliament elections.

Keywords: Voting, Voronoi tessellation, identification, nonparametric

JEL Classification: D72, C14

Suggested Citation

Merlo, Antonio and de Paula, Aureo, Identification and Estimation of Preference Distributions When Voters are Ideological (December 31, 2010). PIER Working Paper No. 11-001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1734318 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1734318

Antonio M. Merlo

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

160 McNeil Building
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Philadelphia, PA 19104
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215-898-7933 (Phone)
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HOME PAGE: http://www.ssc.upenn.edu/~merloa

Rice University ( email )

6100 South Main Street
Houston, TX 77005-1892
United States

Aureo De Paula (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Sao Paulo School of Economics

Rua Itapeva 474 s.1202
São Paulo, São Paulo 01332-000
Brazil

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