**Fire**

I'm going to assume that everyone who reads this thread and replies to it at least has some basic knowledge about what Rational Choice Theory is. If you do not feel free to look it up or PM me about it, but I have enough typing to do as it it so I ain't going to explain it again.

The Voting Paradox

I'll explain this briefly for those who don't know it.

Let's assume for a moment that people behave rational, in an economic sense, all the time (Hence RCT). The basic assumption here is that a voter will act like a homo oeconomicus (acts rational).

Now let's look at voting: If a voter is a homo oeconomicus that means that he will vote when the gains outweigh the costs (as is a basic principle of economics and being rational)

I'll put it like this: R=p*B-C

Where

R stands for the result (to go and vote or to not go -stay home-)

p stands for the chance that your vote makes the crucial difference

B stands for the difference in gain when the government you want comes to power

C stands for the costs made by going to vote

Take a look at the Costs (C):

* Before the elections:

- Gathering Information (reading papers, watching the news and so forth): granted some ppl do this even when there are no elections coming so this is a small cost for those people (Again take in mind that it would not be rational to go vote without having enough information)

- Registering to a voting list (especially in the US this one applies)

* During the elections:

- Movement costs: you have to get to the voting station

- Opportunity costs: you could stay home and watch football on TV or go to work and make money...

Now the Gains (p*B):

* The difference between candidates (B):

- Only one party (former soviet republics): your vote has no effect

- parties with similar programs: which ever party wins it makes little difference

- parties with very different programs: big difference depending on who wins

* The chance of your vote being the crucial one (p):

- With two parties and 3 voters: you have a 50% chance of being the all deciding voter

- With two parties and 9 voters: you have a 27% chance

- With two parties and 101 voters: you have 8% chance

Meaning in a normal election P is almost 0

When P is almost 0 that makes p*B (the Gains remember) almost 0

so that makes R=p*B-C < 0 (If C>0)

Which comes to the conclusion:

The Rational voters stay home!

Now seeing as this is certainly not the case in almost every country in the world.

Why is this the case:

A) Rational Choice Theory is plain wrong (I don't buy that)

B) The formula is incorrect we should an extra element called 'D'. If you think so then please give me your idea on what 'D' is

C) People behave irrational, which is doubtful when economic models who use the same basic principles work.

So this is one of the things I had to study today and wanted to share.

I'd be amazed if this thing gets more than 5 decent replies, but hey I felt like sharing so!

The Voting Paradox

I'll explain this briefly for those who don't know it.

Let's assume for a moment that people behave rational, in an economic sense, all the time (Hence RCT). The basic assumption here is that a voter will act like a homo oeconomicus (acts rational).

Now let's look at voting: If a voter is a homo oeconomicus that means that he will vote when the gains outweigh the costs (as is a basic principle of economics and being rational)

I'll put it like this: R=p*B-C

Where

R stands for the result (to go and vote or to not go -stay home-)

p stands for the chance that your vote makes the crucial difference

B stands for the difference in gain when the government you want comes to power

C stands for the costs made by going to vote

Take a look at the Costs (C):

* Before the elections:

- Gathering Information (reading papers, watching the news and so forth): granted some ppl do this even when there are no elections coming so this is a small cost for those people (Again take in mind that it would not be rational to go vote without having enough information)

- Registering to a voting list (especially in the US this one applies)

* During the elections:

- Movement costs: you have to get to the voting station

- Opportunity costs: you could stay home and watch football on TV or go to work and make money...

Now the Gains (p*B):

* The difference between candidates (B):

- Only one party (former soviet republics): your vote has no effect

- parties with similar programs: which ever party wins it makes little difference

- parties with very different programs: big difference depending on who wins

* The chance of your vote being the crucial one (p):

- With two parties and 3 voters: you have a 50% chance of being the all deciding voter

- With two parties and 9 voters: you have a 27% chance

- With two parties and 101 voters: you have 8% chance

Meaning in a normal election P is almost 0

When P is almost 0 that makes p*B (the Gains remember) almost 0

so that makes R=p*B-C < 0 (If C>0)

Which comes to the conclusion:

The Rational voters stay home!

Now seeing as this is certainly not the case in almost every country in the world.

Why is this the case:

A) Rational Choice Theory is plain wrong (I don't buy that)

B) The formula is incorrect we should an extra element called 'D'. If you think so then please give me your idea on what 'D' is

C) People behave irrational, which is doubtful when economic models who use the same basic principles work.

So this is one of the things I had to study today and wanted to share.

I'd be amazed if this thing gets more than 5 decent replies, but hey I felt like sharing so!