How Do Voters Respond to Information? Evidence from a Randomized Campaign
AbstractRational voters update their subjective beliefs about candidates’ attributes with the arrival of information, and subsequently base their votes on these beliefs. Information accrual is, however, endogenous to voters’ types and difficult to identify in observational studies. In a large scale randomized trial conducted during an actual mayoral campaign in Italy, we expose different areas of the polity to controlled informational treatments about the valence and ideology of the incumbent through verifiable informative messages sent by the incumbent reelection campaign. Our treatments affect both actual vote shares at the precinct level and vote declarations at the individual level. We explicitly investigate the process of belief updating by comparing the elicited priors and posteriors of voters, finding heterogeneous responses to information. Based on the elicited beliefs, we are able to structurally assess the relative weights voters place upon a candidate’s valence and ideology. We find that both valence and ideological messages affect the first and second moments of the belief distribution, but only campaigning on valence brings more votes to the incumbent. With respect to ideology, cross-learning occurs, as voters who receive information about the incumbent also update their beliefs about the opponent. Finally, we illustrate how to perform counterfactual campaigns based upon the structural model. Keywords: voting, information, beliefs elicitation, randomized controlled trial.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 486.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: via Rontgen, 1 - 20136 Milano (Italy)
Web page: http://www.igier.unibocconi.it/
Other versions of this item:
- Kendall, Chad & Nannicini, Tommaso & Trebbi, Francesco, 2013. "How Do Voters Respond to Information? Evidence from a Randomized Campaign," IZA Discussion Papers 7340, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Chad Kendall & Tommaso Nannicini & Francesco Trebbi, 2013. "How Do Voters Respond to Information? Evidence from a Randomized Campaign," NBER Working Papers 18986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
- H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-07-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2013-07-15 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-EXP-2013-07-15 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-POL-2013-07-15 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, .
"Eliciting student expectations of the returns to schooling,"
Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers
1049-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-26.
- Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 4936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Eliciting Student Expectations Of The Returns To Schooling," Econometrics 9411002, EconWPA.
- Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002.
"Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
- Enriqueta Aragonés & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2000. "Mixed equilibrium in a Downsian model with a favored candidate," Economics Working Papers 502, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas. R., 2000. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model With a Favored Candidate," Working Papers 1102, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001.
"Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness,"
ZEI Working Papers
B 03-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
- Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
- Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-33, March.
- Asher A. Blass & Saul Lach & Charles F. Manski, 2010.
"Using Elicited Choice Probabilities To Estimate Random Utility Models: Preferences For Electricity Reliability,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(2), pages 421-440, 05.
- Asher A. Blass & Saul Lach & Charles F. Manski, 2008. "Using Elicited Choice Probabilities to Estimate Random Utility Models: Preferences for Electricity Reliability," NBER Working Papers 14451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blass, Asher & Lach, Saul & Manski, Charles, 2008. "Using Elicited Choice Probabilities to Estimate Random Utility Models: Preferences for Electricity Reliability," CEPR Discussion Papers 7030, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Mark N. Hertzendorf & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Price Competition and Advertising Signals: Signaling by Competing Senders," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 621-662, December.
- Elisabeth R. Gerber & Jeffrey B. Lewis, 2004. "Beyond the Median: Voter Preferences, District Heterogeneity, and Political Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
- Stephen Coate, 2001.
"Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising,"
NBER Working Papers
8693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stephen Coate, 2004. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 772-804, 09.
- Pedro C. Vicente, 2007. "Is Vote Buying Effective? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in West Africa," Economics Series Working Papers 318, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Garthwaite, Paul H. & Kadane, Joseph B. & O'Hagan, Anthony, 2005. "Statistical Methods for Eliciting Probability Distributions," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 680-701, June.
- Polborn, Mattias K. & David T., Yi, 2006. "Informative Positive and Negative Campaigning," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(4), pages 351-371, October.
- Alan Gerber & Donald Green & Ron Shachar, 2003. "Voting may be habit forming: Evidence from a randomized field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00251, The Field Experiments Website.
- Manski, Charles F. & Molinari, Francesca, 2010. "Rounding Probabilistic Expectations in Surveys," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(2), pages 219-231.
- Basit Zafar, 2013.
"College Major Choice and the Gender Gap,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 545-595.
- Leonard Wantchekon, 2003. "Clientelism and voting behavior: Evidence from a field experiment in benin," Natural Field Experiments 00339, The Field Experiments Website.
- Vincenzo Galasso & Tommaso Nannicini, 2013.
"Men Vote in Mars, Women Vote in Venus: A Survey Experiment in the Field,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
4328, CESifo Group Munich.
- Vincenzo Galasso & Tommaso Nannicini, 2013. "Men Vote in Mars, Women Vote in Venus:A Survey Experiment in the Field," Working Papers 487, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Galasso, Vincenzo & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2013. "Men Vote in Mars, Women Vote in Venus: A Survey Experiment in the Field," IZA Discussion Papers 7483, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Galasso, Vincenzo & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2013. "Men Vote in Mars, Women Vote in Venus: A Survey Experiment in the Field," CEPR Discussion Papers 9547, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.