Public Choice

, Volume 178, Issue 1–2, pp 267–287 | Cite as

Collective decision-making of voters with heterogeneous levels of rationality

  • Youzong XuEmail author


This paper studies the collective decision-making processes of voters who have heterogeneous levels of rationality. Specifically, we consider a voting body consisting of both rational and sincere voters. Rational voters vote strategically, correctly using both their private information and the information implicit in other voters’ actions to make decisions; sincere voters vote according to their private information alone. We first characterize the conditions under which the presence of sincere voters increases, reduces, or does not alter the probabilities of making correct collective decisions. We also discuss how the probabilities change when the incidence of sincere voters in the population varies. We then characterize the necessary and sufficient condition under which informational efficiency can be achieved when sincere voters coexist with rational voters. We find that when sincere voters are present, supermajority rules with high consensus levels are not as desirable as they are in rational voting models, as informational efficiency fails under such voting rules.


Heterogeneous levels of rationality Collective decision-making Information aggregation Informational efficiency 



I am very grateful to John Nachbar, Elizabeth Penn, and Marcus Berliant for their invaluable guidance and encouragement. I also thank Scott Baker, Randall Calvert, Anqi Li, John Patty, Werner Ploberger, Brian Rogers, Maher Said, Jonathan Weinstein, Yunfei Cao, Wei-Cheng Chen, Bo Li, and Junmin Liao for their helpful comments. I appreciate the financial support from the Department of Economics, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Center for Research in Economics and Strategy at the Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Business School SuzhouXi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool UniversityJiangsuChina

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