A Theory of Participation in Elections, American Economic Review
This paper focuses on developing a new methodology adding an incentive to behave ethically into a standard voting game. In this paper, we relax one of the central assumptions in game theory: that agents' payoffs are exogenously determined by the outcomes of the game. We develop a methodology in which agents' payoffs in a game are partly determined by endogenously generated preferences over actions. In order to predict outcomes we develop a solution concept we call consistency linking agents' preferences with actual behavior in a manner analogous to Nash equilibrium. We use this methodology to analyze a model of participation in elections in which voting is costly and no vote is ever pivotal. The resulting model delivers high turnout and comparative statics that are consistent with strategic behavior.
Timothy Feddersen, Alvaro Sandroni
Feddersen, Timothy, and Alvaro Sandroni. 2006. A Theory of Participation in Elections. American Economic Review. 96(4): 1271-1282.