Voting Rules and Electoral Biases

Voting Rules and Electoral Biases (Luís Aguiar-Conraria and Pedro Magalhães)

The project consists on a series of lab experiments on voting choices and turnout in the presence of a series of institutional constraints, including different types of quorum rules. This includes participation and approval quorums. Furthermore, we will introduce in the model the possibility that electors derive some utility from voting. This way, they will have more than strategic reasons to vote. We wish to test the possibility that this change in the behavioural assumptions has an impact in the equilibrium selection. In our third experiment, we will allow for different intensity in preferences to test the effect of quorums on the behavior of active minorities. Finally, in our fourth experiment, we will allow for communication among subjects, while keeping voting anonymous. This way, they may coordinate strategies, which may help to select a favorable equilibrium. To our knowledge, this extension, which seems a realistic approximation to reality, has never been studied, neither theoretically nor empirically/experimentally.