DP12374 | Ethical Voting in Multicandidate Elections

Publication Date

10/15/2017

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Abstract

We study the behavior of ethical voters in multicandidate elections. We consider two common electoral rules: plurality and majority runoff. Our model delivers crisper predictions than those of the pivotal voter model. An equilibrium always exists, and is unique for a broad range of parameter values. There are two types of equilibria: (i) the sincere voting equilibrium (voters vote for their most-preferred candidate), and (ii) Duverger's Law equilibria (two candidates attract all the votes). These never coexist. We identify the features of an election that favor sincere voting. Consistent with evidence, incentives to vote sincerely are stronger under majority runoff.