Electoral Institutions with Impressionable Voters

59 Pages Posted: 28 May 2019

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 26, 2019


We use a model of impressionable voters to study multi-candidate elections under different electoral rules. Instead of maximizing expected utility, voters cast their ballots based on impressions. We show that, under each rule, there is a monotone relationship between voter preferences and vote measures. The nature of this relationship, however, varies by electoral rule. Vote measures are biased upwards for socially preferred candidates under plurality rule, but biased downwards under negative plurality. There is no such bias under approval voting or Borda count. Voters always elect the socially preferred candidate in two-way races for any electoral rule. In multi-candidate elections, however, the ability to elect a Condorcet winner varies by rule. The results show that multi-candidate elections can perform well even if voters follow simple behavioral rules. The relative performance of specific electoral institutions, however, depends on the assumed behavioral model of voting.

Keywords: electoral rules, behavioral voting

JEL Classification: D03, D72, D83

Suggested Citation

Andonie, Costel and Diermeier, Daniel, Electoral Institutions with Impressionable Voters (February 26, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3381104 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3381104

Costel Andonie (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Daniel Diermeier

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics