Please Don’t Vote for Me: Voting in a Natural Experiment with Perverse Incentives

32 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2012 Last revised: 21 Jan 2017

Date Written: December 2013

Abstract

Whether individuals vote strategically is one of the most important questions at the intersection of economics and political science. Exploiting a aw in the German electoral system by which a party may gain seats by receiving fewer votes, this paper documents patterns of preference misrepresentation in a large, real world election. During the 2005 elections to the Bundestag, the sudden death of a rightwing candidate necessitated a by-election in one electoral district. Knowing the results in all other districts and given the paradoxical incentives in place, a substantial fraction of the electorate voted for a party other than their most preferred one, or abstained. As a result, the Christian Democratic Union won an additional mandate, extending its narrow lead over the Social Democrats.

Keywords: voting, strategic voting, manipulation of elections

JEL Classification: D7, D72, P16

Suggested Citation

Spenkuch, Jörg L., Please Don’t Vote for Me: Voting in a Natural Experiment with Perverse Incentives (December 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2047221 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2047221

Jörg L. Spenkuch (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences (MEDS) ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jspenkuch.github.io

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
22
Abstract Views
325
PlumX Metrics