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Learning in elections and voter turnout equilibria

By Stefano DeMichelis and Amrita Dhillon

Abstract

Both complete and incomplete game Theoretic Models of Voter Turnout (Palfrey and Rosenthal, 1983,1985) have the problem of multiple equilibria, some of which seem unreasonable. How can the counter intuitive high turnout equilibria be explained? Palfrey and Rosenthal (1985) suggest that the main reason is that strategic uncertainty istoo low in a complete information model. We show that this is not the main problem with these equilibria{ incomplete information may exacerbate the problem of multiple equilibria. We propose a very intuitive criterion based on voter learning to distinguish reasonable equilibria. This paper makes precise the sense in which the high turnout equilibria in the Palfrey-Rosenthal model are not robust. We show how the model can be used to qualitatively explain several phenomena observed in reality

Topics: JF
Publisher: University of Warwick, Department of Economics
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:1576

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