Patrick Hummel

Google Inc.

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Institutional Affiliation: Google Inc.

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2013Optimal Primaries
with Richard Holden: w19340
We analyze a model of US presidential primary elections for a given party. There are two candidates, one of whom is a higher quality candidate. Voters reside in m different states and receive noisy private information about the identity of the superior candidate. States vote in some order, and this order is chosen by a social planner. We provide conditions under which the ordering of the states that maximizes the probability that the higher quality candidate is elected is for states to vote in order from smallest to largest populations and most accurate private information to least accurate private information.

Published: Hummel, Patrick & Holden, Richard, 2014. "Optimal primaries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 64-75. citation courtesy of

May 2012Sequential or Simultaneous Elections? A Welfare Analysis
with Brian Knight: w18076
This paper addresses a key question on the design of electoral systems. Should all voters vote on the same day or should elections be staggered, with late voters observing early returns before making their decisions? Using a model of voting and social learning, we illustrate that sequential elections place too much weight on the preferences and information of early states but also provide late voters with valuable information. Under simultaneous elections, voters equally weigh the available information but place too much weight on their priors, providing an inappropriate advantage to front-runners. Given these trade-offs, simultaneous elections are welfare-preferred if the front-runner initially has a small advantage, but sequential elections are welfare-preferred if the front-runner initi...

Sequential or Simultaneous Elections? An Empirical Welfare Analysis” (with Patrick Hummell), NBER working paper 18076, 2012, forthcoming at the International Economic Review. citation courtesy of

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