Public Choice

, Volume 130, Issue 3–4, pp 293–310 | Cite as

Letting the good times roll: A theory of voter inference and experimental evidence

  • John W. PattyEmail author
  • Roberto A. Weber
Original Article


This paper examines inference and attribution in a simple and ubiquitous strategic situation: a voter is faced with discerning whether a leader worked on his or her behalf after observing an informative, but noisy signal about the leader's performance. We characterize perfect Bayesian equilibria, quantal response equilibria (QRE), and provide a simple model of a heuristic-based approach, referred to as strategic naivete, within a wide class of such environments. We also discuss experiments conducted to examine human behavior within such an environment. While it is clear that the observed behavior is inconsistent with perfect Bayesian equilibrium, distinguishing between QRE and strategic naivete will require further work. We conclude with a discussion of the broader implications of probabilistic and/or heuristic-based attribution processes for electoral politics and political economy.


Public Choice American Political Science Review Perfect Bayesian Equilibrium Springer Public Choice Economic Vote 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentHarvard UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social and Decision SciencesCarnegie Mellon UniversityDohaQatar

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