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The Core and the Stability of Group Choice in Spatial Voting Games

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2013

Norman Schofield
Washington University
Bernard Grofman
University of California Irvine
Scott L. Feld
State University of New York Stony Brook


The core of a voting game is the set of undominated outcomes, that is, those that once in place cannot be overturned. For spatial voting games, a core is structurally stable if it remains in existence even if there are small perturbations in the location of voter ideal points. While for simple majority rule a core will exist in games with more than one dimension only under extremely restrictive symmetry conditions, we show that, for certain supramajorities, a core must exist. We also provide conditions under which it is possible to construct a structurally stable core. If there are only a few dimensions, our results demonstrate the stability properties of such frequently used rules as two-thirds and three-fourths. We further explore the implications of our results for the nature of political stability by looking at outcomes in experimental spatial voting games and at Belgian cabinet formation in the late 1970s.

Copyright © American Political Science Association 1988

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