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Majority Voting in Multidimensional Policy Spaces: Kramer–Shepsle versus Stackelberg


  • Philippe De Donder, Toulouse School of Economics (GREMAQ-CNRS and IDEI), 21 allée de Brienne, 31015 Toulouse Cedex 6, France ( Michel Le Breton, Toulouse School of Economics (GREMAQ and IDEI), 21 allée de Brienne, 31015 Toulouse Cedex 6, France ( Eugenio Peluso, Department of Economics, University of Verona, Via dell’università, 3, 37129 Verona, Italy (

  •  We thank an associate editor and two referees for their insightful suggestions. The usual disclaimer applies.


We study majority voting over a bidimensional policy space when the voters’ type space is either uni- or bidimensional. We study two voting procedures widely used in the literature. The Stackelberg (ST) procedure assumes that votes are taken one dimension at a time according to an exogenously specified sequence. The Kramer–Shepsle (KS) procedure also assumes that votes are taken separately on each dimension, but not in a sequential way. A vector of policies is a Kramer–Shepsle equilibrium if each component coincides with the majority choice on this dimension given the other components of the vector. We study the existence and uniqueness of the ST and KS equilibria, and we compare them, looking for example at the impact of the ordering of votes for ST and identifying circumstances under which ST and KS equilibria coincide. In the process, we state explicitly the assumptions on the utility function that are needed for these equilibria to be well-behaved. We especially stress the importance of single-crossing conditions, and we identify two variants of these assumptions: a marginal version that is imposed on all policy dimensions separately, and a joint version whose definition involves both policy dimensions.

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