A Theory of Strategic Voting with Non-Instrumental Motives
Li, C., Pique, R. A theory of strategic voting with non-instrumental motives. Soc Choice Welf (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00355-020-01250-6
38 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2013 Last revised: 28 May 2020
Date Written: February 24, 2020
Empirical studies have documented non-instrumental motives for voting. However, the theoretical literature on strategic voting has largely ignored these motives. In this paper, we examine voter behavior in multi-candidate elections in the presence of ethical, expressive, and instrumental concerns. Voters in our model derive utility from both the election outcome and the action of voting. A fraction of voters are ethical, who follow a group-welfare maximizing voting rule. The rule may require them to misalign their votes, that is, to vote for a candidate who is not their most preferred. We characterize the optimal rule for the ethical voters and provide comparative statics with respect to various electoral parameters. In particular, we find that the degree of misaligned voting is increasing in the importance of the election but it is non-monotonic in the popularity of the Condorcet loser.
Keywords: Strategic Voting, Ethical Voters, Large Elections
JEL Classification: D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation