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Games 2013, 4(4), 624-647;

Strategic Voting in Heterogeneous Electorates: An Experimental Study

Center for Research in Experimental Economics and political Decision making (CREED), Amsterdam School of Economics, Roetersstraat 11, Amsterdam 1018 WB, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 August 2013 / Revised: 17 October 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 11 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Laboratory Experimental Testing of Political Science Models)
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We study strategic voting in a setting where voters choose from three options and Condorcet cycles may occur. We introduce in the electorate heterogeneity in preference intensity by allowing voters to differ in the extent to which they value the three options. Three information conditions are tested: uninformed, in which voters know only their own preference ordering and the own benefits from each option; aggregate information, in which in addition they know the aggregate realized distribution of the preference orderings and full information, in which they also know how the relative importance attributed to the options are distributed within the electorate. As a general result, heterogeneity seems to decrease the level of strategic voting in our experiment compared to the homogenous preference case that we study in a companion paper. Both theoretically and empirically (with data collected in a laboratory experiment), the main comparative static results obtained for the homogenous case carry over to the present setting with preference heterogeneity. Moreover, information about the realized aggregate distribution of preferences seems to be the element that best explains observed differences in voting behavior. Additional information about the realized distribution of preference intensity does not yield significant further changes. View Full-Text
Keywords: voting behavior; preference heterogeneity; information; experimental economics; quantal response equilibrium voting behavior; preference heterogeneity; information; experimental economics; quantal response equilibrium

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Tyszler, M.; Schram, A. Strategic Voting in Heterogeneous Electorates: An Experimental Study. Games 2013, 4, 624-647.

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