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Title: Three essays on voting
Author: Giovanniello, Monica Anna
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 4363
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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This dissertation consists of three chapters, which aim at exploring respectively: i) how parties’ advertisements and voters’ strategic communication affect the political outcome; ii) whether and under which conditions a “market for votes” is preferable to the “one person, one vote” mechanism; and iii) whether subsidies to private donations may be used as strategical device by policy makers to secure re-election. The first chapter analyses how voters’ interactions affect the parties’ advertisement strategies and shape the political outcome of the election. We develop a two level game that embeds: (i) a model of political competition, where parties compete in campaign advertising, (ii) a model of personal influence, where voters can strategically communicate with each other in order to affect the policy outcome. We show that, first, homophily rises endogenously and individuals value only the information received from like-minded voters, regardless of the distance between the voters’ biases. Second, when the richness of the network or the degree of homophily within the network, or both, are low, then parties are likely to tailor their advertising to voters ideological biased toward their opponent - rather than targeting the closer ideological group of voters. The second chapter of this dissertation is joint work with Herakles Polemarchakis. In this chapter, we construct a simple centralized model of spatial voting where voters can sell/buy political influence by trading their votes for a consumption good. We model the voting game as a representative election game in order to concavify total voters’ payoff. By mimicking a majority rule in the election game we are able to focus on the effect of the distributional and ideological conflicts in the society and how these conflicts affect, in turn, the total welfare under two voting allocation mechanisms: the market and the “one person one vote” principle. We show that a market for votes is desirable with respect the “one-person one vote” principle if the degree of conflict in both income and political preferences is extreme, otherwise the simple “one-person one vote” performs better than the market mechanism, as it maximizes the sum of utilities of voters. The third chapter of the thesis is joint work with Carlo Perroni, Kimberly Scharf and Al Slivinski. In this chapter we study how tax relief on private donations towards the private provision of collective goods can protect minorities from majority-driven outcomes where high taxes are exclusively used to finance publicly provided goods that these minorities do not value. We show that an elected policymaker can use the same instruments as a strategic commitment device aimed at creating and supporting political alliances that would not otherwise be able to coalesce, thus securing majority support for re-election.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JC Political theory