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Can Non-Expected Utility Theories Explain the Paradox of Not-Voting?

Serge Blondel and Louis Lévy-Garboua ()
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Serge Blondel: GRANEM - Groupe de Recherche Angevin en Economie et Management - UA - Université d'Angers - AGROCAMPUS OUEST - Institut National de l'Horticulture et du Paysage

Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) from HAL

Abstract: Many people vote in large elections with costs to vote although the expected benefits would seem to be infinitesimal to a rational mind. We exhibit two necessary conditions that a theory of rational decision must satisfy in order to solve the paradox. We then show that prospect and regret theories cannot solve it because each theory meets either one or the other necessary condition, but not both. However, the paradox of not voting is consistent with an amended version of third-generation prospect theory in which the reference is merely to vote or abstain.

Keywords: paradox of not voting; probability transformation; reference point; regret (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00665947
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Published in Economics Bulletin, Economics Bulletin, 2011, 31 (4), pp.3158-3168

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