Learning in Elections and Voter Turnout Equilibria

Both complete and incomplete game Theoretic Models of Voter Turnout (Palfrey and Rosenthal, 1983,1985) have the problem of multiple equilibria, some of which seem unreasonable. How can the counter intuitive high turnout equilibria be explained? Palfrey and Rosenthal (1985) suggest that the main reason is that strategic uncertainty is too low in a com- plete information model. We show that this is not the main problem with these equilibria{ incomplete information may exacerbate the problem of multiple equilibria. We propose a very intuitive criterion based on voter learning to distinguish reasonable equilibria. This paper makes precise the sense in which the high turnout equilibria in the Palfrey-Rosenthal model are not robust. We show how the model can be used to qualitatively explain several phenomena observed in reality.


Issue Date:
Sep 09 2001
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
Record Identifier:
https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/269378
Language:
English
Total Pages:
21
JEL Codes:
C72; D72




 Record created 2018-03-07, last modified 2020-10-28

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