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Essays on Strategic Voting

KIM, SUN-TAK (2012) Essays on Strategic Voting. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation investigates strategic voting from two perspectives. The second chapter studies a theory of electoral competition in the presence of strategic forward-looking voters while the third chapter experimentally tests a rational voter model under alternative voting institutions that may be employed in jury trials.

In the second chapter, I study a spatial model of two-party electoral competition in which the final policy outcome can be different from electoral promises. The policy outcome depends in part on electoral promise, but also reflects the bargaining process between the winning and losing party whose outcome can be anticipated by strategic forward-looking voters. Unlike the prediction of the Median Voter Theorem which holds with the coincidence of electoral promises and policy outcomes, I find that parties have incentives to distinguish themselves from one another in the election with the consideration of policy concession that might result from post-electoral bargaining.

In the third chapter, I report on an experiment comparing compulsory and voluntary voting mechanisms. Theory predicts that these different mechanisms have important implications for strategic decisions in terms of both voting and abstention, and I find strong support for these theoretical predictions in the experimental data. Voters are able to adapt their strategic voting behavior or their participation decisions to the different voting mechanisms in such a way as to make the efficiency differences between these mechanisms negligible. I argue that this finding may account for the co-existence of these two voting mechanisms in nature.

In conclusion, I give a brief description of a way to extend the experimental study in the third chapter by considering alternative mechanisms to obtain private information relevant to voting decisions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
KIM, SUN-TAKsuk36@pitt.eduSUK36
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDUFFY, JOHNjduffy@pitt.eduJDUFFY
Committee MemberBLUME, ANDREASablume@pitt.eduABLUME
Committee MemberRIGOTTI, LUCAluca@pitt.eduLUCA
Committee MemberWOON, JONATHANwoon@pitt.eduWOON
Committee MemberBHATTACHARYA, SOURAVsourav@pitt.eduSOURAV
Date: 27 September 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 May 2012
Approval Date: 27 September 2012
Submission Date: 5 June 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 123
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Strategic Voting, Spatial Model, Post-Electoral Bargaining, Platform Divergence, Mixed-strategy Equilibrium, Voting Behavior, Voting Mechanisms, Condorcet Jury Model, Information Aggregation, Information Acquisition, Laboratory Experiments.
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2012 23:21
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:58

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