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Agendas, Strategic Voting, and Signaling with Incomplete Information

Ordeshook, Peter C. and Palfrey, Thomas R. (1986) Agendas, Strategic Voting, and Signaling with Incomplete Information. Social Science Working Paper, 618. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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The literature on agendas with sincere and strategic voting represents an important contribution to our understanding of committees, of institutions, and of the opportunities to manipulate outcomes by the manipulation of institutions. That literature, though, imposes an assumption that may be unrealistic in many situations; namely, that everyone knows the preferences of everyone else. In this essay we apply Bayesian equilibrium analysis to show that the properties of agendas that others derive assuming complete information do not hold necessarily under incomplete information. First, a Condorcet winner need not be selected, even if nearly everyone on the committee most prefers it. Second, the "2 step theorem," that any outcome reachable in n voting stages via some amendment agenda is reachable in two stages under sophisticated voting, need not hold. Third, nonbinding votes such as straw polls, can critically effect final outcomes.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Palfrey, Thomas R.0000-0003-0769-8109
Additional Information:This research was supported by National Science Foundation grants to Carnegie-Mellon University and to the University of Texas at Austin. We also wish to acknowledge, in the case of one author, the support of Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Published as Ordeshook, Peter C., and Thomas R. Palfrey. "Agendas, strategic voting, and signaling with incomplete information." American Journal of Political Science (1988): 441-466.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Stanford UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Voting, Voting paradox, Ballots, Polls, Straw, Game theory, Majority voting, Committees, Expected utility, Lotteries
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:618
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170912-143216300
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81378
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:15 Sep 2017 20:30
Last Modified:22 Nov 2019 09:58

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