The financial support of the National Science Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, CASSEL and SSEL is gratefully acknowledged. The original version of the theory part of this study (Herrera and Morelli, ) was written by the first two authors and was circulated and presented at Caltech in December 2008. It contained most of the theoretical results in the current version. The third author was added later, when the study was expanded to include the experimental results. David Myatt provided very helpful detailed comments on an earlier draft of the article. We thank Salvatore Nunnari, Kirill Pogorelskiy and Nilanjan Roy for research assistance. We thank Tilman Borgers, Alessandra Casella, Gary Cox, Hulya Eraslan, Bernie Grofman, Faruk Gul, John Huber, Navin Kartik, Vijay Krishna, Joseph McMurray, John Morgan, Roger Myerson, Mattias Polborn and Richard Van Weelden for important discussions and suggestions. We also thank all the seminar participants at Caltech, Rochester (Wallis Conference), Zurich (ETH), Columbia, Princeton, PUC-Rio, Toronto, Boston University, SUNY Stony Brook and NYU for useful feedback. The usual disclaimer applies.
Turnout and Power Sharing
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2014
© 2013 Royal Economic Society
The Economic Journal
Volume 124, Issue 574, pages F131–F162, February 2014
How to Cite
Herrera, H., Morelli, M. and Palfrey, T. (2014), Turnout and Power Sharing. The Economic Journal, 124: F131–F162. doi: 10.1111/ecoj.12116
- Issue published online: 24 FEB 2014
- Article first published online: 24 FEB 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 11 DEC 2013 05:51AM EST
- National Science Foundation
- Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
We compare turnout under proportional power-sharing electoral systems and winner-take-all elections. The effect of such institutional differences on turnout depends on the distribution of voter preferences. If the two parties have relatively equal support, turnout is higher in a winner-take-all system; the result is reversed when there is a clear underdog. We report findings from a laboratory experiment that was designed and conducted to explore this theoretical hypothesis and several other secondary hypotheses that are also implied by the theoretical model. The results are broadly supportive of the theoretical predictions on comparative turnout, the partial underdog compensation effect and the competition effect.