Theory and Decision

, Volume 71, Issue 4, pp 461-472

First online:

Making statements and approval voting

  • Enriqueta AragonesAffiliated withInstitut d’Anàlisi Econòmica, C.S.I.C. Email author 
  • , Itzhak GilboaAffiliated withBerglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv UniversityDepartment of Economics and Decision Sciences HEC
  • , Andrew WeissAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Boston University

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We assume that people have a need to make statements, and construct a model in which this need is the sole determinant of voting behavior. In this model, an individual selects a ballot that makes as close a statement as possible to her ideal point, where abstaining from voting is a possible (null) statement. We show that in such a model, a political system that adopts approval voting may be expected to enjoy a significantly higher rate of participation in elections than a comparable system with plurality rule.


Approval voting Turnout