Preference Intensity in Positional Voting

DOI: 10.4236/tel.2014.48092   PDF   HTML   XML   2,567 Downloads   3,229 Views  


We report a laboratory experiment on strategic manipulation in positional rules, by which individuals are asked to elicit a complete ranking over 3 alternatives. The prominent rule in this set is the so-called Borda Count, but our experiment also considers other rules in which we increase the score associated to the second-best candidate and vary the monetary prizes in case of a victory of the latter (“preference intensity”). Our results suggest that, as standard game-theoretic logic would suggest, when the intermediate scores and prizes increase, strategic manipulation is reduced. We also see that group size affects the likelihood of strategic manipulation in a non-linear fashion, and mostly depends on how the intermediate score is manipulated. Furthermore, rule efficiency increases with group size (i.e., as the probability of being pivotal decreases) and with both the intermediate scores and prizes.

Share and Cite:

Mata-Pérez, E. , Laruelle, A. , Martínez, R. and Ponti, G. (2014) Preference Intensity in Positional Voting. Theoretical Economics Letters, 4, 727-738. doi: 10.4236/tel.2014.48092.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Gibbard, A. (1973) Manipulation of Voting Schemes: A General Result. Econometrica, 41, 587-601.
[2] Satterthwaite, M. (1975) Strategy-Proofness and Arrow’s Conditions: Existence and Correspondence Theorems for Voting Procedures and Social Welfare Functions. Journal of Economic Theory, 10, 187-217.
[3] Ludwin, W.G. (1978) Strategic Voting and the Borda Method. Public Choice, 33, 85-90.
[4] Kube, S. and Puppe, C. (2009) (When and How) Do Voters Try to Manipulate?: Experimental Evidence from Borda Elections. Public Choice, 139, 39-52.
[5] Forsythe, R., Rietz, T., Myerson, R. and Weber, R. (1996) An Experimental Study of Voting Rules and Polls in Three-Candidate Elections. International Journal of Game Theory, 25, 355-383.
[6] Bassi, A. (2014) Voting Systems and Strategic Manipulation: An Experimental Study. Journal of Theoretical Politics, Online First.
[7] Duffy, J. and Tavits, M. (2008) Beliefs and Voting Decisions: A Test of the Pivotal Voter Model. American Journal of Political Science, 52, 603-618.
[8] Selten, R. (1973) A Simple Model of Imperfect Competition, Where 4 Are Few and 6 Are Many. International Journal of Game Theory, 2, 141-201.
[9] Huck, S., Normann, H.T. and Oechssler, J. (2004) Two Are Few and Four Are Many: Number Effects in Experimental Oligopolies. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 53, 435-446.
[10] Fischbacher, U. (1999) z-Tree: Zurich Toolbox for Ready-Made Economic Experiments. Experimental Economics, 10, 171-178.
[11] Lehtinen, A. (2007) The Borda Rule Is Intended Also for Dishonest Men. Public Choice, 133, 73-90.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.