Does uncertainty lead to sincerity? Simple and complex voting mechanisms

Abstract

We ask whether the absence of information about other voters’ preferences allows optimal voting to be interpreted as sincere.We start by classifying voting mechanisms as simple and complex according to the number of message types voters can use to elect alternatives. We show that while in simple voting mechanisms the elimination of information about other voters’ preferences allows optimal voting to be interpreted as sincere, this is no longer always true for complex ones. In complex voting mechanisms, voters’ optimal strategy may vary with the size of the electorate. Therefore, in order to interpret optimal voting as sincere for complex voting mechanisms, we describe the optimal voting strategy when voters not only have no information but also have no pivotal power, i.e., as the size of the electorate tends to infinity.

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Correspondence to Miguel Ángel Ballester.

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We are grateful to Jorge Alcalde-Unzu, Enriqueta Aragonès, Carmen Beviá, Tilman Börgers, Caterina Calsamiglia, Jon Eguia, Julio González-Díaz, Jordi Massó, Juan D. Moreno-Ternero and John Weymark for useful comments. Financial support from Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (SEJ2005-01481/Econ, SEJ2006-00538, ECO08-04756 and Consolider-Ingenio CSD2006-00016) and the support of the Barcelona GSE Research Network and the Government of Catalonia (2005SGR-00454, 2005SGR-00836) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Ballester, M.Á., Rey-Biel, P. Does uncertainty lead to sincerity? Simple and complex voting mechanisms. Soc Choice Welf 33, 477–494 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00355-009-0374-8

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Keywords

  • Vote Rule
  • Bijective Mapping
  • Strategic Vote
  • Approval Vote
  • Game Econ