Public Choice

, Volume 139, Issue 1–2, pp 39–52 | Cite as

(When and how) do voters try to manipulate?

Experimental evidence from Borda elections
  • Sebastian Kube
  • Clemens Puppe
Open Access


We study strategic voting in a laboratory experiment using a Borda mechanism. We find that manipulation rates are surprisingly low, even for individuals who know that they possess superior information about the other agents’ preferences. Exploring possible explanations, we find that manipulation rates rise significantly if individuals are not only informed about the other agents’ preferences but also about their actual votes. This suggests that uncertainty plays a key role in understanding strategic behavior in elections. By contrast, distributional concerns, e.g., in the form of inequality aversion, are found to play a negligible role in our context.


Strategic voting Manipulation Borda rule Mechanism design Laboratory experiment Satisficing Bounded rationality 

JEL Classification

D71 C91 D81 D63 D72 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective GoodsBonnGermany
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany

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