, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 315-335
Date: 14 Jul 2007

Coordinated voting in sequential and simultaneous elections: some experimental evidence

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Abstract

This paper studies a situation wherein a set of voters choose between two alternatives in the presence of a payoff externality. Specifically, regardless of her intrinsic preference, a voter’s payoff is maximized should she vote for the alternative that garners a majority of the votes cast. Are votes coordinated on a single alternative? Using laboratory experiments, we examine voting patterns in sequential voting and simultaneous voting elections. Across both election types, we also vary the amount of information that an individual voter has regarding the intrinsic preferences of the other voters. Our main findings are as follows. In the “low” information treatment, sequential voting elections facilitate coordinated voting. However, in the “high” information treatment, voting patterns are not dependent on how the election is structured.