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Revista de Economía Institucional

Print version ISSN 0124-5996

Abstract

GALLEGO, Jorge Andrés. RECIPROCITY AND THE PARADOX OF VOTING. Rev.econ.inst. [online]. 2007, vol.9, n.16, pp.149-188. ISSN 0124-5996.

This article shows that for a citizen with reciprocal preferences, voting can be a rational act. Even in elections with many voters, when the probability of being the pivotal voter is close to zero, the utility generated by strong reciprocal sentiments can compensate the material costs of voting. This paper offers a behavioral model with social preferences that represents the conditions that make voting more attractive than abstention. Using the dynamics of replication to explore the voting game evolution, it concludes that positive reciprocal sentiments promote voting for the candidate in power, while negative reciprocity promotes abstention or voting for a rival candidate.

Keywords : reciprocity; paradox of voting; social preferences; evolutionary games.

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