Graduation Year

2017

Date of Submission

4-2017

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Reader 1

Yaron Raviv

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© 2017 Jeffrey D Ortiz

Abstract

The voting system a government chooses has influence upon the way people vote, as it has some bearing on the average person’s utility received from voting. In the United States the Electoral College system is used to determine who becomes president-elect, but theoretical arguments have been made to support a change in voting structure to Proportional Representation. I developed my model to understand more about how a change in the voting structure would affect voter utility. My contribution to the research question focuses upon relative benefits of one voter in a specific party to another voter in another party. I used an empirical approach, using data pulled from past elections and survey data. My model suggests that Republican voters would receive a higher utility from a change in the voting system from the Electoral College to Proportional Representation. It is unclear whether Democrats would receive a higher benefit, but at least would receive a lesser utility change than that of the Republican voters.

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