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A Passion for Democracy

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  • Elena Panova
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    Abstract

    Theories of voter turnout assume that an active voter receives a warm glow from doing a good deed to like-minded compatriots. What tells him that he is doing them a good deed by voting for this or that candidate or policy? Their own votes are naturally available feedback. We propose a dynamic model of voting with asymmetric information in which being among the majority provides a voter with a positive feedback on his voting decision, increasing his self confidence, hence, his warm glow from voting in the future. The voters who cannot tell which policy is superior, try to pool with a majority (so as to get involved in the democratic process). They vote much according to the available public information, however, without herding. We find these effects in the unique equilibrium of our voting game. Les théories de vote supposent qu'un électeur reçoit de la satisfaction ou du « warm glow » quand il vote. Le « warm glow » est créé par la confiance d'une bonne action envers ses compatriotes. Qu'est-ce qui fait croire à un électeur qu'il fait une bonne action envers ses compatriotes en votant pour telle ou telle plateforme politique? Leurs propres votes sont un signal naturellement disponible. Nous proposons un modèle dynamique de vote avec des informations asymétriques dans lequel la majorité fournit un signal positif sur le choix de vote. Ce signal augmente la confiance de l’électeur en ses choix de vote, et par conséquent, son « warm glow » de votes prochains. Les électeurs qui ne peuvent pas distinguer quelle plateforme politique est supérieure essaient d'imiter le vote de majorité afin de bâtir la confiance en ses choix de vote et s'impliquer dans le processus démocratique. Ils votent surtout selon les informations publiques disponibles, cependant, sans « herding ». Nous trouvons ces effets dans l'équilibre unique de notre jeu de vote.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2011s-47.

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    Date of creation: 01 May 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2011s-47

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    Keywords: expressive voting; habitual voting; complementarities in voting; self-signaling; public information and the vote; status quo bias.; vote expressif; vote habituel; complémentarités au vote; self-signaling; information publique et vote; tendance au statu qo.;

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    1. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," NBER Working Papers 12169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    12. Matthew F. Mitchell & Andrea Moro, 2006. "Persistent Distortionary Policies with Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 387-393, March.
    13. Alan S. Gerber & Gregory A. Huber & Ebonya Washington, 2009. "Party Affiliation, Partisanship, and Political Beliefs: A Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 15365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Amrita Dhillon & Susana Peralta, 2002. "Economic Theories Of Voter Turnout," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F332-F352, June.
    15. Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2010. "Why Do You Vote and Vote as You Do?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 495-516, November.
    16. John Ashworth & Benny Geys & Bruno Heyndels, 2006. "Everyone likes a winner: An empirical test of the effect of electoral closeness on turnout in a context of expressive voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 383-405, September.
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