The Calculus of Ethical Voting, International Journal of Game Theory
Papers by Feddersen and Sandroni (2005a and 2005b) and Coate and Colin (2005) provide an explanation for turnout in large elections. These papers introduce ethical agents who are motivated to participate when they determine that agents of their type are morally obligated to do so. Unlike previous duty-based models of participation, ethical agents' moral obligation to vote is determined endogenously as a function of the behavior of other agents. In order to predict outcomes, a solution concept called consistency links agents' preferences with actual behavior in a manner analogous to Nash equilibrium. In this paper, we address the foundational problems in ethical participation models. We show the restrictions consisteny imposes on the central notion of group identity, the incentive constraints on ethical reasoning, and the existence and uniqueness of consistent profiles.