How Voters Use Grade Scales in Evaluative Voting

33 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2017

See all articles by Antoinette Baujard

Antoinette Baujard

University of Lyon 2 - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE)

Frédéric Gavrel

Université de Caen

Herrade Igersheim

University of Strasbourg

Jean‐François Laslier

University of Angers - French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)

Isabelle Lebon

Université de Caen

Date Written: August 22, 2017

Abstract

During the first round of the 2012 French presidential election, participants in an in situ experiment were invited to vote according to “evaluative voting”, which involves rating the candidates using a numerical scale. Various scales were used: (0,1), (-1,0,1), (0,1,2), and (0,1,...,20). The paper studies scale calibration effects, i.e., how individual voters adapt to the scale, leading to possibly different election outcomes. The data show that scales are not linearly equivalent, even if individual ordinal preferences are not inconsistent. Scale matters, notably because of the symbolic power of negative grades, which does not affect all candidates uniformly.

Keywords: Evaluative Voting, Range Voting, Approval Voting, In Situ Experiment, Calibration

JEL Classification: D72, C93

Suggested Citation

Baujard, Antoinette and Gavrel, Frédéric and Igersheim, Herrade and Laslier, Jean‐François and Lebon, Isabelle, How Voters Use Grade Scales in Evaluative Voting (August 22, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3054512 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3054512

Antoinette Baujard (Contact Author)

University of Lyon 2 - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE) ( email )

93 chemin des Mouilles
Ecully, 69130
France

Frédéric Gavrel

Université de Caen ( email )

F-14032 Caen Cedex, Normandy
France

Herrade Igersheim

University of Strasbourg ( email )

61, avenue de la foret noire
Strasbourg, Alsace 3000
France

Jean‐François Laslier

University of Angers - French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) ( email )

3, rue Michel-Ange
Paris cedex 16, 75794
France

Isabelle Lebon

Université de Caen ( email )

F-14032 Caen Cedex
France

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