Public Choice

, Volume 172, Issue 1–2, pp 125–149 | Cite as

Who will vote quadratically? Voter turnout and votes cast under quadratic voting

Article

Abstract

Who will vote quadratically in large-N elections under quadratic voting (QV)? First, who will vote? Although the core QV literature assumes that everyone votes, turnout is endogenous. Drawing on other work, we consider the representativeness of endogenously determined turnout under QV. Second, who will vote quadratically? Conditional on turning out, we examine reasons that, in large-N elections, the number of votes that an individual casts may deviate substantially from that under pure, rational QV equilibrium play. Because turnout itself is driven by other factors, the same determinants may influence how voters who do turn out choose the quantity of votes to cast. Independently, the number of votes actually cast may deviate dramatically from pure QV predictions because of the complex and refined nature of equilibrium play. Most plausibly, voting behavior and outcomes would be determined predominately by social and psychological forces, would exhibit few of the features emphasized in the analysis of hyper-rational equilibrium play, and would have consequential properties that require a different research agenda to bring into focus. Some of our analysis also has implications for voting behavior under other procedures, including one person, one vote.

Keywords

Voting Voter turnout Paradox of voting Quadratic voting Pivotality Elections 

JEL Classification

D71 D72 D82 

References

  1. Ariely, D., Bracha, A., & Meier, S. (2009). Doing good or doing well? Image motivation and monetary incentives in behaving prosocially. American Economic Review, 99, 544–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chamberlain, G., & Rothschild, M. (1981). A note on the probability of casting a decisive vote. Journal of Economic Theory, 25, 152–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cox, G. W., & Munger, M. C. (1989). Closeness, expenditures, and turnout in the 1982 U.S. House elections. American Political Science Review, 83, 217–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. DellaVigna, S., List, J. A., Malmendier, U., & Rao, G. (2016). Voting to tell others. Review of Economic Studies, 84, 143–181.Google Scholar
  5. Downs, A. (1957). An economic theory of democracy. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  6. Enos, R. D., & Fowler, A. (2014). Pivotality and turnout: Evidence from a field experiment in the aftermath of a tied election. Political Science Research and Methods, 2, 309–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Frey, B. S., & Jegen, R. (2001). Motivation crowding theory. Journal of Economic Surveys, 15, 589–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Funk, P. (2010). Social incentives and voter turnout: Evidence from the Swiss mail ballot system. Journal of the European Economic Association, 8, 1077–1103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gelman, A., Silver, N., & Edlin, A. (2012). What is the probability your vote will make a difference? Economic Inquiry, 50, 321–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Geys, B. (2006). Explaining voter turnout: A review of aggregate-level research. Electoral Studies, 25, 637–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gneezy, U., Meier, S., & Rey-Biel, P. (2011). When and why incentives (don’t) work to modify behavior. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(4), 191–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goeree, J. K., & Zhang, J. (2017). One man, one bid. Games and Economic Behavior, 101, 151–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goodin, R. E., & Roberts, K. W. S. (1975). The ethical voter. American Political Science Review, 69, 926–928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harbaugh, W. T. (1996). If people vote because they like to, then why do so many of them lie? Public Choice, 89, 63–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Iyengar, S., & Lepper, M. (2000). When choice is demotivating: Can one desire too much of a good thing? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 995–1006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kaplow, L., & Kominers, S. D. (in preparation). On the representativeness of voter turnout.Google Scholar
  17. Krishna, V., & Morgan, J. (2015). Majority rule and utilitarian welfare. American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 7, 339–375.Google Scholar
  18. Lalley, S. P., & Weyl, E. G. (2016a). An online appendix to “quadratic voting” (unpublished).Google Scholar
  19. Lalley, S. P., & Weyl, E. G. (2016b). Quadratic voting (unpublished).Google Scholar
  20. Ledyard, J. O. (1984). The pure theory of large two-candidate elections. Public Choice, 44, 7–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Margolis, H. (1982a). Selfishness, altruism, and rationality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  22. Margolis, H. (1982b). A thought experiment on demand-revealing mechanisms. Public Choice, 38, 87–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mulligan, C. B., & Hunger, C. G. (2003). The empirical frequency of a pivotal vote. Public Choice, 116, 31–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Myerson, R. B. (2000). Large Poisson games. Journal of Economic Theory, 94, 7–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Riker, W. H., & Ordeshook, P. C. (1968). A theory of the calculus of voting. American Political Science Review, 62, 25–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Shampanier, K., Mazar, N., & Ariely, D. (2007). Zero as a special price: The true value of free products. Marketing Science, 26, 742–757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tversky, A., & Shafir, E. (1992). Choice under conflict: The dynamics of deferred decision. Psychological Science, 3, 358–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Weyl, E. G. (2015). The efficiency of quadratic voting in finite populations (unpublished).Google Scholar
  29. Weyl, E. G. (2017). The robustness of quadratic voting. Public Choice. doi:10.1007/s11127-017-0405-4.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.National Bureau of Economic ResearchCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations