The effect of information on voting behavior
AbstractThis paper investigates how information affect voting behaviour. There exist a large literature suggesting that uninformed voters can use informational shortcuts or cues to vote as if they were informed. This paper tests this hypothesis using unique Swedish individual survey data on the preferences of both politicians and voters. I find that uninformed voters are significantly worse than informed voters at voting for their most preferred politicians. This suggests that uninformed voters can not make up for their lack of information using shortcuts. Furthermore, the errors uninformed voters make do not cancel out in large elections. Estimates suggest that the ruling majorities would have switched in almost 5% of Swedish municipalities had all voters been fully informed. The effects are estimated with both parametric and nonparametric estimation techniques.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2009:14.
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 18 Sep 2009
Date of revision:
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Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
More information through EDIRC
Voting behaviour; Citizen candidates; Information; Cues;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
- H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-09-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2009-09-26 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2009-09-26 (Positive Political Economics)
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