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Turned on or turned out? Campaign advertising, information and voting

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Author Info

  • Houser, Daniel
  • Morton, Rebecca
  • Stratmann, Thomas

Abstract

We present results from laboratory experimental elections in which voter information is endogenously provided by candidates and voting is voluntary. We also compare advertisements that are costless to voters with those that reduce voter payoffs. We find that informative advertisements increase voter participation and thus informative campaign advertising turns out voters. However, the effect of information is less than that found in previous experimental studies where information is exogenously provided by the experimenter. Furthermore, we find that when advertising by winning candidates reduces voter payoffs, informed voters are less likely to participate, thus are turned off rather than turned out. Finally, we discover that candidates tend to overadvertise, and contrary to theoretical predictions, advertise significantly more when voting is voluntary than when it is compulsory.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 27 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 708-727

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:27:y:2011:i:4:p:708-727

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

Related research

Keywords: Campaign finance; Abstention; Turnout; Elections;

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References

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  1. Richard J. Cebula, 2007. "Influences on the Voter Participation Rate," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 399-412, 04.
  2. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
  3. Daniel Houser & Thomas Stratmann, 2006. "Selling Favors in the Lab: Experiments on Campaign Finance Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 1727, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. " Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
  5. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2008. "Information Aggregation and Strategic Abstention in Large Laboratory Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 194-200, May.
  6. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Tom Coupé, 2004. "Choosing not to choose: on the link between information and abstention," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7756, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Pareto-Improving Campaign Finance Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 628-655, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jørgen Juel Andersen & Jon H. Fiva & Gisle James Natvik, 2013. "Voting When the Stakes Are High," Working Papers 0017, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
  2. Christopher Jeffords, 2011. "Preference-Directed Regulation When Ethical Environmental Policy Choices Are Formed With Limited Information," Working Papers 01, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  3. Thomas Stratmann, 2011. "Campaign Contributions – What Do They Buy and Should They be Capped?," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(1), pages 17-20, 05.
  4. Omar Al-Ubaydli & Uri Gneezy & Min Sok Lee & John A. List, 2010. "Toward an understanding of the relative strengths of positive and negative reciprocity," NBER Working Papers 16547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Leif Brandes & Egon Franck, . "Social Preferences or Personal Career Concerns? Field Evidence on Positive and Negative Reciprocity in the Workplace," Working Papers 0134, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).

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