Voting for voters: A model of electoral evolution

S. Barberà, M. Maschler, J. Shalev

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43 Citations (Scopus)


We model decision problems faced by the members of societies whose new members are determined by vote. We examine a simple model: the founders and the candidates are fixed, the society operates and holds elections for a fixed number of periods, one vote is sufficient for admission, and voters can support as many candidates as they wish. We show through theorems and examples that interesting strategic behavior is implied by the dynamic structure of the problem. In particular, the vote for friends may be postponed, and it may be advantageous to vote for enemies. We characterize all pure strategy Nash equilibria outcomes and show that they can also be obtained as subgame perfect equilibria. We present conditions for existence of pure strategy (trembling hand) perfect equilibrium profiles and show that they always exist in a two-stage scheme under appropriate assumptions on utilities. We discuss the need for further refinements and extensions of our game theoretic analysis. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Numbers: C7, D7 D71. © 2001 Academic Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-78
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • Clubs
  • Elections
  • Equilibrium refinements
  • Game theory
  • Noncooperative games
  • Purestrategy equilibrium profiles
  • Voting


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