Sequential Voting with Abstention (PDF)

Dekel and Piccione (2000) have proven that information cascades do not necessarily affect the properties of information aggregation in sequential elections: under standard conditions, any symmetric equilibrium of a simultaneous voting mechanism is also an equilibrium of the correspondent sequential mechanism. We show that when voters can abstain, these results are sensitive to the introduction of an arbitrarily small cost of voting: the set of equilibria in the two mechanisms are generally disjoint; and the informative properties of the equilibrium sets can be ranked. If an appropriate q-rule is chosen, when the cost of voting is small the unique symmetric equilibrium of the simultaneous voting mechanism dominates all equilibria of the sequential mechanism.