Marco Faravelli, Priscilla Man and Randall Walsh, School of Economics Discussion Paper No. 474 December 2012, School of Economics, The University of Queensland. Australia.


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We propose a game theoretic model of large elections that incorporates the assumption that mandate matters. This innovation is motivated by empirical evidence that US Representatives with larger victory margins on average vote in a more partisan manner. Without relying on preference for voting, this new model predicts strictly positive limiting turnout rates in a costly voting environment as the number of paternalistic voters grows arbitrarily large. The model also preserves stylized comparative statics results of costly voting models, including the underdog effect and the competition effect.