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If People Vote Because They Like to, Then Why Do So Many of Them Lie?

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  • Harbaugh, W T

Abstract

Of those eligible, about 40% do not vote in presidential elections. When asked, about a quarter of those nonvoters will lie to the survey takers and claim that they did. Increases in education are associated with higher voting rates and lower rates of lying overall, but with increased rates of lying conditional on not voting This paper proposes a model of voter turnout in which people who claim to vote get praise from other citizens Those who lie must bear the cost of lying The model has a stable equilibrium with positive rates of voting, honest non-voting, and lying. Reasonable parameter changes produce changes in these proportions in the same direction as the changes actually observed across education levels. I argue that a model where people vote because they want to be known as voters provides a better explanation for observed voting behavior than does a model where people vote because they want to vote. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 89 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (October)
Pages: 63-76

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:89:y:1996:i:1-2:p:63-76

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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References

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  1. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
  2. Ashenfelter, Orley C & Kelley, Stanley, Jr, 1975. "Determinants of Participation in Presidential Elections," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 695-733, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Vidal Díaz de Rada, 2011. "Face-to-face versus telephone surveys on political attitudes: a comparative analysis," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 817-827, June.
  2. Kennedy Stewart & Patricia MacIver & Stewart Young, 2008. "Testing and Improving Voters' Political Knowledge," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(4), pages 403-418, December.
  3. Gine, Xavier & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2011. "Together we will : experimental evidence on female voting behavior in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5692, The World Bank.
  4. Castanheira, Micael, 2002. "On the (Non) Paradox of (Not) Voting," CEPR Discussion Papers 3126, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Juan Carlos Berganza, 2000. "Politicians, voters and electoral processes: an overview," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 24(3), pages 501-543, September.
  6. John Conley & Myrna H. Wooders & Ali Toossi, 2001. "Evolution & Voting: How Nature Makes us Public Spirited," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 28(24), pages A0.
  7. Jonasson, Erik, 2009. "Informal Employment and the Role of Regional Governance," Working Papers 2009:10, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 27 Sep 2010.
  8. Castanheira, Micael, 2003. "Victory margins and the paradox of voting," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 817-841, November.
  9. João Amaro de Matos & Pedro Barros, 2004. "Social Norms and the Paradox of Elections’ Turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 239-255, October.
  10. John P. Conley & Myrna Wooders, 2005. "Memetics & Voting: How Nature May Make us Public Spirited," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0514, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.

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