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Strategic Votes and Sincere Counterfactuals

  • Alaitz Artabe (a1) and Javier Gardeazabal (a2)
Abstract

The random utility model (RUM) of voting behavior can account for strategic voting by making use of proxy indicators that measure voter incentives to vote strategically. The contribution of this article is to propose a new method to estimate the RUM in the presence of strategic voters, without having to construct proxy measures of strategic voting incentives. Our method can be used to infer the counterfactual sincere vote of those who vote strategically and provides an estimate of the size of strategic voting. We illustrate the procedure using post-electoral survey data from Spain. Our calculations indicate that strategic voting in Spain is about 2.19%.

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Corresponding author
e-mail: javier.gardeazabal@ehu.es (corresponding author)
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Authors' note: We would like to thank Elena del Rey, Beatriz Gonzalez Lopez-Valcarcel, Thomas Gschwend, Annick Laruelle, Stefan Napel, Federico Valenciano, Donald Wittman, two anonymous referees, and seminar participants at the University of the Basque Country, University of California—Santa Cruz, and the Simposio de la Asociación Española de Economía 2011 in Malaga. Replication materials are available in the Political Analysis Dataverse dx.doi.org/10.7910/DVN/22991.

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