DEMOCRATIC INNOVATIONS WORKSHOP
Abstract: We compare multi-candidate elections under plurality rule versus ranked-choice voting (RCV). In our framework candidates choose whether to pursue a narrow campaign that targets their base, or instead pursue a broad campaign that appeals to the entire electorate. We present two main results comparing plurality and RCV. First, RCV can intensify candidates’ incentives to target their core supporters at the cost of a broader appeal. Second, RCV may increase the probability that a candidate who would lose any pairwise contest nonetheless wins a multi-candidate contest.
Peter Buisseret is an Assistant Professor of Government at Harvard University. He works in the fields of political economy and formal theory. His work appears in the American Political Science Review, the American Economic Review, and the American Journal of Political Science. He previously held faculty positions at the University of Chicago (Harris School) and the University of Warwick (Economics). He received his PhD in Politics from Princeton University in 2015.
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