Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Information Asymmetries and Simultaneous versus Sequential Voting

  • Rebecca B. Morton (a1) and Kenneth C. Williams (a2)
Abstract

Sequential voting takes place when some voters make choices with knowledge of earlier decisions in the same election. Historically, voting in U.S. presidential primaries is sequential, but recent primaries have been “front-loaded” into the early weeks of the season. We explore sequential voting in drawn-out primaries and simultaneous voting in front-loaded ones theoretically and use laboratory elections to examine our predictions empirically. We find evidence that in sequential voting later voters can use early outcomes to infer information about candidates and make choices that better reflect their preferences. The ability of later voters to infer information increases with higher levels of risk aversion and information provided on early outcomes. We discover that when a moderate candidate is largely unknown, information aggregation in sequential voting can increase the probability s/he will win, which supports the contention of policymakers that sequential voting can lead to different electoral outcomes.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Bartels, Larry M. 1988. Presidential Primaries and the Dynamics of Public Choice. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Brady, Henry E. 1996. “Strategy, and Momentum in Presidential Primaries.” In Political Analysis, Volume 5, ed. Freeman, John R.. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Pp. 138.
Condorcet, Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat. 1785. Essai sur l'application de l'analyse a la probabilite des decisions rendues la pluralite des voix. Paris: l'Imprimerie Royale.
Cook, Rhodes. 1997. “CQ Roundtable: GOP Wants a Revamp of Primary Process.” Congressional Quarterly, 08 9, p. 1942.
Cooper, Alexandra, and Munger, Michael C.. 1996. “The (Un)Predictability of Presidential Primaries with Many Candidates: Some Simulation Evidence.” Presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, CA. Typescript.
Dekel, Eddie, and Piccione, Michele. 1997. “The Equivalence of Simultaneous and Sequential Binary Elections.” Working paper. Department of Economics, Northwestern University.
Fey, Mark. 1996. “Informational Cascades, Sequential Elections, and Presidential Primaries.” Presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, CA. Typescript.
Fey, Mark. 1997. “Stability and Coordination in Duverger's Law: A Formal Model of Preelection Polls and Strategic Voting.” American Political Science Review 91(03):135–47.
Filer, John, Kenny, Lawrence, and Morton, Rebecca. 1993. “Redistribution, Income, and Voting.” American Journal of Political Science 37(02):6387
McKelvey, Richard D., and Ordeshook, Peter C.. 1985. “Elections with Limited Information: A Fulfilled Expectations Model Using Contemporaneous Poll and Endorsement Data as Information Sources.” Journal of Economic Theory 36(1):5585
Morton, Rebecca B., and Williams, Kenneth C.. 1998. “Learning by Voting: Frontloading versus Representatives in Presidential Primaries.” Department of Political Science, University of Iowa. Typescript.
Myerson, Roger B., and Weber, Robert J.. 1993. “A Theory of Voting Equilibria.” American Political Science Review 87(03):102–14.
Palmer, Niall. 1997. The New Hampshire Primary and the American Electoral Process. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Paolino, Philip. 1996. “Perceptions of Candidate Viability: Media Effects during the Presidential Nomination Process.” Presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, CA. Typescript.
Patterson, Thomas E. 1980. The Mass Media Election: How Americans Choose Their President. New York: Praeger.
Republican National Committee. 1996. “2/27/96 Nicholson to Chair National GOP Task Force on Presidential Primary Schedule.” Press release.
Robinson, Michael J., and Sheehan, Margaret. 1983. Over the Wire and on TV: CBS and UPI in Campaign 80. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Schneider, William. 1997. “And Now the GOP Is Rewriting Its Rules.” National Journal 29(04 12):734.
Sloth, Birgitte. 1993. “The Theory of Voting and Equilibria in Non-Cooperative Games.” Games and Economic Behavior 5(1): 152–69.
Strumpf, Koleman. 1996. “Sequential Election Contests: Strategic Effects Oppose Momentum in Presidential Primaries.” Working paper. Department of Economics, University of North Carolina.
Witt, Jorgen. 1997. “Herding Behavior in a Roll-Call Voting Game.” Working paper. Department of Economics, University of Amsterdam.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed