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Electing a parliament: an experimental study

Francesco De Sinopoli, Giovanna Iannantuoni (), Maria Levati () and Ivan Soraperra ()
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Giovanna Iannantuoni: University of Milano-Bicocca
Ivan Soraperra: Department of Economics (University of Verona)

No 11/2016, Working Papers from University of Verona, Department of Economics

Abstract: We use laboratory experiments to explore what electoral outcomes emerge and how voters behave in a setting in which the electorate must determine the number of seats that two parties obtain in the parliament. Previous experimental work has mainly focused on winner-take-all elections and voting over fixed agendas, and has not studied elections where participants decide on the composition of a parliament. We consider two electoral systems, multidistrict majoritarian and single district proportional. Relying on De Sinopoli et al.'s (2013) model of a parliamentary election, we obtain a unique perfect equilibrium outcome under both systems and exploit this uniqueness to gauge, and compare, the predictive value of the equilibrium concept in the two systems. The experimental results are broadly supportive of the theory and reveal that electoral outcomes and individual votes are more often in line with the equilibrium in the proportional than in the majoritarian system.

Keywords: Voting; Majority election; Proportional election; Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-exp, nep-gth and nep-pol
Date: 2016-07
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