Turned Off or Turned Out? Campaign Advertising,Information, and Voting
AbstractWe 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 fi?nd 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 over-advertise, and contrary to theoretical predictions, advertise significantly more when voting is voluntary than when it is compulsory.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science in its series Working Papers with number 1005.
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision: Jul 2008
Voting; campaign finance; abstention; voter turnout; experiments;
Other versions of this item:
- Houser, Daniel & Morton, Rebecca & Stratmann, Thomas, 2011. "Turned on or turned out? Campaign advertising, information and voting," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 708-727.
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2008-09-29 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2008-09-29 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2008-09-29 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2008-09-29 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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