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Momentum and Social Learning in Presidential Primaries

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Author Info

  • Brian Knight
  • Nathan Schiff

Abstract

This paper investigates social learning in sequential voting systems. In the econometric model, candidates experience momentum effects when their performance in early states exceeds expectations. The empirical application uses daily polling data from the 2004 presidential primary. We find that Kerry benefited from surprising wins in early states and took votes away from Dean. Owing to these momentum effects, early voters had up to five times the influence of late voters in the selection of candidates, and this helps to explain the distribution of advertising expenditures. Finally, we use the estimated model to conduct two counterfactual experiments.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658372
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 118 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1110 - 1150

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/658372

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  1. Klumpp, Tilman & Polborn, Mattias K., 2006. "Primaries and the New Hampshire Effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1073-1114, August.
  2. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2004. "Prediction Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 107-126, Spring.
  3. Steven Callander, 2007. "Bandwagons and Momentum in Sequential Voting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 653-684.
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  8. Nageeb Ali & Navin Kartik, 2006. "A Theory of Momentum in Sequential Voting," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 321307000000000016, www.najecon.org.
  9. Battaglini, Marco & Morton, Rebecca & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2006. "Efficiency, equity, and timing of voting mechanisms," Working Papers 1262, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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  11. Hongbin Cai & Yuyu Chen & Hanming Fang, 2009. "Observational Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 864-82, June.
  12. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2007. "Aggregation Reversals and the Social Formation of Beliefs," NBER Working Papers 13031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
  14. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
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  17. Strumpf, Koleman S, 2002. " Strategic Competition in Sequential Election Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(3-4), pages 377-97, June.
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As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Political Economy > The Political Economy of the US
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Cited by:
  1. Ariel Guerreiro & Joao Amaro de Matos, 2013. "Referenda outcomes and the influence of polls: a social network feedback process," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp578, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  2. Enrico Moretti, 2011. "Social Learning and Peer Effects in Consumption: Evidence from Movie Sales," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 356-393.
  3. Meredith, Marc & Malhotra, Neil, 2008. "Can October Surprise? A Natural Experiment Assessing Late Campaign Effects," Research Papers 2002, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  4. Emilio Barucci & Marco Tolotti, 2010. "Identity, reputation and social interaction with an application to sequential voting," Working Papers 204, Department of Applied Mathematics, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
  5. Denter, Philipp & Sisak, Dana, 2013. "Do Polls Create Momentum in Political Campaigns?," Economics Working Paper Series 1326, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  6. Patrick Hummel & Richard Holden, 2013. "Optimal Primaries," NBER Working Papers 19340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Philipp Denter & Dana Sisak, 2013. "Do Polls create Momentum in Political Competition?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-169/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. S. Ali & Navin Kartik, 2012. "Herding with collective preferences," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 601-626, November.
  9. Andrew T. Ching & Tülin Erdem & Michael P. Keane, 2013. "Learning Models: An Assessment of Progress, Challenges and New Developments," Economics Papers 2013-W07, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  10. Patrick Hummel & Brian Knight, 2012. "Sequential or Simultaneous Elections? A Welfare Analysis," NBER Working Papers 18076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robert Hodgson & John Maloney, 2013. "Bandwagon effects in British elections, 1885–1910," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 73-90, October.
  12. Hummel, Patrick, 2012. "Sequential voting in large elections with multiple candidates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 341-348.
  13. Nathan Yang, 2011. "An Empirical Model of Industry Dynamics with Common Uncertainty and Learning from the Actions of Competitors," Working Papers 11-16, NET Institute.
  14. Deniz Selman, 2011. "Optimal Sequencing of Presidential Primaries," Working Papers 2011/09, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.

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