Publication details

Stopping the Evil or Settling for the Lesser Evil : An Experimental Study of Costly Voting with Negative Payoffs in a TRS Electoral System

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Year of publication 2017
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

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Description The strategic voting across families of various electoral systems is often depicted as “settling for lesser evil” (e.g. Cox, 1997, Gschwend, 2004) in order to prevent the worst outcome of elections. In this paper we experimentally (13 sessions with 18-30 participants, 546 voting situations) explore the degree of strategic voting (as compared to non-voting) framed in situations with (non-compulsory) costly voting where voters face outcomes with positive and negative payoffs (“stopping the evil” framing) and/or with solely negative payoffs (“settling for lesser evil” framing). We explore voters’ decisions in rather complex environment of the two-round electoral system, with symmetric amount of private information about the preferences of electorate available to them and show that voters’ behavior does differ markedly in both the situations. The results have implications for the representation and democracy.
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