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Voting Motives, Group Identity, and Social Norms

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  • Carlsson, Fredrik

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

The conventional rational voter model has problems explaining why people vote, since the costs typically exceed the expected benefits. This paper presents Swedish survey evidence suggesting that people vote based on a combination of instrumental and expressive motives, and that people are strongly influenced by a social norm saying that it is an obligation to vote. Women and older individuals are more affected by this norm than others. The more rightwing a person is, the less unethical he/she will perceive selfish voting to be. Moreover, individuals believe that they themselves vote less selfishly than others and that people with similar political views as themselves vote less selfishly than people with the opposite political views, which is consistent with social identity theory.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/20427
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 366.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 17 Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0366

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Related research

Keywords: social norms; self-interested voting; expressive voting; sociotropic voting; selfserving bias; group identity; in-group bias; social identity theory;

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Cited by:
  1. Olof Johansson-Stenman & James Konow, 2010. "Fair Air: Distributive Justice and Environmental Economics," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 46(2), pages 147-166, June.

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