Simple plurality versus plurality runoff with privately informed voters
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This paper compares two voting methods commonly used in presidential elections: simple plurality voting and plurality runoff. In a situation in which a group of voters have common interests but do not agree on which candidate to support due to private information, information aggregation requires them to split their support between their favorite candidates. However, if a group of voters split their support, they increase the probability that the winner of the election is not one of their favorite candidates. In a model with three candidates, due to this tension between information aggregation and the need for coordination, plurality runoff leads to higher expected utility for the majority than simple plurality voting if the information held by voters about the candidates is not very accurate.
KeywordsPrivate Information Expected Utility Common Interest Presidential Election Information Aggregation
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