Do voters vote ideologically?

Arianna Degan, Antonio Merlo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In this paper we address the following question: To what extent is the hypothesis that voters vote "ideologically" (i.e., they always vote for the candidate who is ideologically "closest" to them) testable or falsifiable? We show that using data only on how individuals vote in a single election, the hypothesis that voters vote ideologically is irrefutable, regardless of the number of candidates competing in the election. On the other hand, using data on how the same individuals vote in multiple elections, the hypothesis that voters vote ideologically is potentially falsifiable, and we provide general conditions under which the hypothesis can be tested.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1868-1894
    Number of pages27
    JournalJournal of Economic Theory
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Sep 2009


    • Falsifiability
    • Spatial models
    • Testing
    • Voting

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics


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