Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 9 No. 1 (Winter 1995)


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Approval Voting

Article Citation

Weber, Robert J. 1995. "Approval Voting." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9(1): 39-49.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.9.1.39


Under approval voting, a voter may cast single votes for each of any number of candidates. In this paper, the history of approval voting and some of its properties are reviewed. When voters vote sincerely, approval voting compares favorably with both the plurality rule and Borda's rule in yielding outcomes reflective of the electorate's will. When voters vote strategically, perverse outcomes possible under other rules cannot arise at equilibrium under approval voting. Well-known 'median voter' results in two-candidate positioning games generalize to multicandidate settings under approval voting but not under the plurality rule.

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Weber, Robert J. (Kellogg Graduate School of Management)

JEL Classifications

D72: Models of Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior


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