Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 111–138 | Cite as

Strategic voting and nomination

Original Paper


Using computer simulations based on three separate data generating processes, I estimate the fraction of elections in which sincere voting is a core equilibrium given each of eight single-winner voting rules. Additionally, I determine how often each rule is vulnerable to simple voting strategies such as ‘burying’ and ‘compromising’, and how often each rule gives an incentive for non-winning candidates to enter or leave races. I find that Hare is least vulnerable to strategic voting in general, whereas Borda, Coombs, approval, and range are most vulnerable. I find that plurality is most vulnerable to compromising and strategic exit (causing an unusually strong tendency toward two-party systems), and that Borda is most vulnerable to strategic entry. I use analytical proofs to provide further intuition for some of my key results.


  1. Aleskerov F, Kurbanov E (1999) Degree of manipulability of social choice procedures. In: Alkan et al. (eds) Current Trends in Economics. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  2. Arrow K (1951, rev. ed. 1963) Social Choice and Individual ValuesGoogle Scholar
  3. Beck N (1975) A note on the probability of a tied election. Public Choice 23(1):75–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Besley T, Coate S (1997) An economic model of representative democracy. Q J Econ 112(1):84–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Black D (1958) The Theory of Committees and Elections. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  6. Brams S, Fishburn P (1978) Approval voting. Am Political Sci Rev 72(3):831–847CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brams S, Fishburn P (1983) Approval voting. BirkhäuserGoogle Scholar
  8. Condorcet M de (1785) Essai sur l’application de l’analyse à la probabilité des décisions rendues à la pluralité des voixGoogle Scholar
  9. Coombs C (1964) A Theory of Data. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Chamberlin J, Cohen M (1978) Toward applicable social choice theory: a comparison of social choice functions under spatial model assumptions. Am Political Sci Rev 72(4):1341–1356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chamberlin J (1985) An investigation into the relative manipulability of four voting systems. Behav Sci 30(4):195–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cox G (1997) Making votes count: strategic coordination in the world’s electoral systems. Cambridge university press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  13. Dutta B, Jackson M, Le Breton M (2001) Strategic candidacy and voting procedures. Econometrica 69(4):1013–1037CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Duverger M (1964) Political Parties: Their Organization and Activity in the Modern State. Methuen, LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. Favardin P, Lepelley D, Serais J (2002) Borda rule, Copeland method and strategic manipulation. Rev Econ Des 7:213–228Google Scholar
  16. Favardin P, Lepelley D (2006) Some further results on the manipulability of social choice rules. Soc Choice Welf 26:485–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gibbard A (1973) Manipulation of voting schemes: a general result. Econometrica 41:587–601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Green-Armytage J (2011) Four Condorcet-Hare hybrid methods for single-winner elections. Voting Matters 29:1–14Google Scholar
  19. Hoag C, Hallett G (1926) Proportional Representation. MacMillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Kelly J (1993) Almost all social choice rules are highly manipulable, but a few aren’t. Soc Choice Welf 10(2):161–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kim KH, Roush FW (1996) Statistical manipulability of social choice functions. Group Decis Negot 5: 263–282Google Scholar
  22. Kramer G (1977) A dynamical model of political equilibrium. J Econo Theory 16(2):310–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lepelley D, Mbih B (1994) The vulnerability of four social choice functions to coalitional manipulation of preferences. Soc Choice Welf 11(3):253–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lepelley D, Valognes F (2003) Voting rules, manipulability and social homogeneity. Public Choice 116: 165–184Google Scholar
  25. Levin J, Nalebuff B (1995) An introduction to vote-counting schemes. J Econ Perspectives 9(1):3–26Google Scholar
  26. McLean I, Urken A (1995) Class Soc Choice. University of Michigan Press, Ann ArborGoogle Scholar
  27. Moreno B, Puy S (2005) The scoring rules in an endogenous election. Soc Choice Welf 25:115–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Moreno B, Puy S (2009) Plurality rule works in three-candidate elections. Theory Decis 67:145–162Google Scholar
  29. Nitzan S (1985) The vulnerability of point-voting schemes to preference variation and strategic manipulation. Public Choice 47:349–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nurmi H (1999) Voting Paradoxes and How to Deal with Them. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Osborne M, Slivinski A (1996) A model of political competition with citizen-candidates. Q J Econ 111(1):65–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pritchard G, Wilson M (2007) Exact results on manipulability of positional voting rules. Soc Choice Welf 29:487–513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Saari D (1990) Susceptibility to manipulation. Public Choice 64:21–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Saari D (2001) Chaotic Elections!. American Mathematical Society, ProvidenceGoogle Scholar
  35. Satterthwaite M (1975) Strategy-proofness and arrow’s conditions: existence and correspondence theorems for voting procedures and social welfare functions. J Econ Theory 10:187–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Smith D (1999) Manipulability measures of common social choice functions. Soc Choice Welf 16:639–661CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Simpson P (1969) On defining areas of voter choice: Professor Tullock on stable voting. Q J Econ 83(3): 478–490Google Scholar
  38. Tideman TN (1987) Independence of clones as a criterion for voting rules. Soc Choice Welf 4(3):185–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tideman TN (2006) Collective Decisions and Voting: the Potential for Public Choice. Ashgate, AldershotGoogle Scholar
  40. Tideman TN, Plassmann F (2011) Modeling the Outcomes of Vote-Casting in Actual Elections. Manuscript Accessed 12 Feb 2013
  41. Tullock G (1967) Proportional representation. In Toward a Mathematics of Politics. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, pp 144–157Google Scholar
  42. Woodall D (1997) Monotonicity of single-seat preferential election rules. Discret Appl Math 77:81–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UC Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

Personalised recommendations