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Department Seminar: How Voters Predict Coalition Bargaining Outcomes

David Fortunato
Wednesday, December 15, 2021, 1:30 pm – 3:10 pm

Multiparty parliamentary democracies present an interesting problem to voters: in order to cast a policy-oriented vote, they must first come to have some expectations of how likely various coalition governments are to form following the election. Whether and how voters generate these expectations, however, remains an open question. We present an ecologically rational theory of the formation of coalition expectations and derive global and contextual empirical expectations. To test these predictions, we design an experimental platform that allows us to learn the rules voters use to infer which parties will coalesce, as well as how these rules vary across contexts.