Collective decision-making of voters with heterogeneous levels of rationality

Youzong Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies the collective decision-making processes of voters who have heterogeneous levels of rationality. Specifically, we consider a voting body consisting of both rational and sincere voters. Rational voters vote strategically, correctly using both their private information and the information implicit in other voters’ actions to make decisions; sincere voters vote according to their private information alone. We first characterize the conditions under which the presence of sincere voters increases, reduces, or does not alter the probabilities of making correct collective decisions. We also discuss how the probabilities change when the incidence of sincere voters in the population varies. We then characterize the necessary and sufficient condition under which informational efficiency can be achieved when sincere voters coexist with rational voters. We find that when sincere voters are present, supermajority rules with high consensus levels are not as desirable as they are in rational voting models, as informational efficiency fails under such voting rules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-287
Number of pages21
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Collective decision-making
  • Heterogeneous levels of rationality
  • Information aggregation
  • Informational efficiency


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