Bibliography of research literature on instant runoff voting

Working Paper No.: 
72
Date Published: 
02/01/2009
Author(s): 
Ines Levin
California Institute of Technology

Introduction
This bibliography lists a diversity of publications related to Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). This
voting method is a particular type of Single Transferable Vote (STV), applied in single-seat
elections. † It is a sequential elimination voting procedure, and due to the use of ranked-ordered
ballots, it belongs to the group of preferential-voting methods. It is also called Ranked Choice
Voting (RCV) or Alternative Vote. One set of publications included in this bibliography is
concerned with the impact of IRV, or runoff methods in general, on the party system, candidate
behavior, voter choice, and minority representation. In particular, some authors compare the
complexity of the system, and the incentives for strategic voter choice, and cooperation between
candidates, relative to alternative methods. Another set of publications deals with the experience
of several countries with the use of IRV –such as Australia, Fiji, and New Guinea, with some
scholars focusing specifically on the encouragement of inter-ethnic cooperation and minority
inclusion in divided societies, and on the moderation-character of policy outcomes. Finally, an
additional group of publications considers the need for electoral reform in the US, and evaluates
the adoption and results of the use of IRV in recent elections in the city of San Francisco. The
selection criteria for inclusion in this bibliography was being a published book or peer reviewed
article, making a significant contribution to the understanding of the voting system, by either
studying its properties, its advantages and disadvantages relative to alternative methods, or
providing evidence of its performance in real world situations.

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