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Representative Voter Theorems

Paul Rothstein ()

Public Choice, 1991, vol. 72, issue 2-3, 193-212

Abstract: The representative voter is an individual whose strict preference for any alternative x over any alternative y implies (1) x strictly defeats y by majority rule, if there are an odd number of voters, and (2) x weakly defeats y otherwise. This result holds for the median voter if x is his ideal point or if preferences satisfy a generalized symmetry property, but not in general. The authors examine a formal condition that guarantees the existence of a representative voter and an economic model in which this condition holds. They also indicate a method for estimating representative voting behavior that is justified when a representative voter exists, and compare this with a method for deriving median voting behavior from an estimated demand curve. Copyright 1991 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Date: 1991
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