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Abstract

In standard political economy models, voters are “self-interested” that is, care only about “own” utility. However, the emerging evidence indicates that voters often have “other-regarding preferences” (ORP), that is, in deciding among alternative policies voters care about their payoffs relative to others. We extend a widely used general equilibrium framework in political economy to allow for voters with ORP, as in Fehr and Schmidt (1999). In line with the evidence, these preferences allow voters to exhibit “envy” and “altruism,” in addition to the standard concern for “own utility.” We give sufficient conditions for the existence of a Condorcet winner when voters have ORP. This could open the way for an incorporation of ORP in a variety of political economy models. Furthermore, as a corollary, we give more general conditions for the existence of a Condorcet winner when voters have purely selfish preferences.