Information and Strategic Voting
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 11-025/1
39 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2011
Date Written: February 10, 2011
We theoretically and experimentally study voter behavior in a setting characterized by plurality rule and mandatory voting, where voters choose from three options. We are interested in the occurrence of strategic voting in an environment where Condorcet cycles may occur. In particular, we focus on how information about the distribution of preferences affects strategic behavior. We also vary the relative importance of the second preferred option to investigate how this affects the strategic vote. Quantal response equilibrium analysis is used to analyze the game and proves to be a good predictor for the experimental data. Our results indeed show that strategic voting arises, the extent of which depends on (i) the availability of information; (ii) the relative importance of the intermediate candidate; (iii) the electorate's relative support for one's preferred candidate; and (iv) the relative position of the plurality-supported candidate in a voter's preference ordering. Our results show that information serves as a coordination device where strategic voting does not harm the plurality-preferred candidate's chances of winning.
Keywords: Voting Behavior, Experimental Economics, Quantal Response Equilibrium
JEL Classification: C92, D72, D83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation