University of Queensland
Level 5, Colin Clark Building (39)
St Lucia, Brisbane, QLD 4072
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2011||Smooth Politicians and Paternalistic Voters: A Theory of Large Elections|
with Randall Walsh: w17397
We propose a new game theoretic approach to modeling large elections that overcomes the "paradox of voting" in a costly voting framework, without reliance on the assumption of ad hoc preferences for voting. The key innovation that we propose is the adoption of a "smooth" policy rule under which the degree to which parties favor their own interests is increasing in their margin of victory. In other words, mandates matter. We argue that this approach is an improvement over the existing literature as it is consistent with the empirical evidence. Incorporating this policy rule into a costly voting model with paternalistic voters yields a parsimonious model with attractive properties. Specifically, the model predicts that when the size of the electorate grows without bound, limiting turnout is...