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Voting as Communicating

Thomas Piketty
The Review of Economic Studies
Vol. 67, No. 1 (Jan., 2000), pp. 169-191
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2567033
Page Count: 23
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Voting as Communicating
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Abstract

This paper develops a model where voters trade-off two different motives when deciding how to vote: they care about current decision-making (they are "strategic"), but they also care about communicating their views about their most-preferred candidate so as to influence future elections, by influencing other voters' opinion and/or party positioning. In effect, voters in this model are intermediate between "strategic" and "sincere" voters of conventional models in elections with more than 2 candidates. This allows us to better investigate the relative efficiency of various electoral systems: our main conclusion is that since voting is used as a communication device electoral systems should be designed to facilitate efficient communication, e.g. by opting for 2-round systems rather than 1-round systems.

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