Attitude-Dependent Altruism, Turnout and Voting
AbstractThis paper presents a goal-oriented model of political participation based on two psychological assumptions. The first is that people are more altruistic towards individuals that agree with them and the second is that people’s well being rises when other people share their personal opinions. By conveying credible information on attitudes, votes give pleasure to individuals who agree with them and thereby confer vicarious utility on voters. Substantial equilibrium turnout emerges with nontrivial voting costs and modest altruism. The model can explain higher turnout in close elections as well as higher turnout by more informed and more educated individuals. For certain parameters, the model predicts that third party candidates will lose votes to more popular candidates, a phenomenon often called strategic voting. For other parameters, the model predicts ‘vote-stealing’ where the addition of a third candidate robs a major candidate of electoral support.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5146.
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-08-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2005-08-13 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2005-08-13 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2005-08-13 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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