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Neighborhood Information Exchange and Voter Participation: An Experimental Study

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  • Jens Großer
  • Arthur Schram

Abstract

We study the effect of social embeddedness on voter turnout by investigating the role of information about other voters' decisions. We do so in a participation game, where some voters ('receivers') are told about some other voters' ('senders') turnout decision at a first stage of the game. Cases are distinguished where the voters support the same or different candidates or where they are uncertain about each other's preferences. Our experimental results show that such information matters. Participation is much higher when information is exchanged than when it is not. Senders strategically try to use their first mover position and some receivers respond to this.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Cologne, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics with number 8.

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Date of creation: 10 May 2004
Date of revision: 29 Sep 2004
Handle: RePEc:kls:series:0008

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  1. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
  2. John Ledyard, 1984. "The pure theory of large two-candidate elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 7-41, January.
  3. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Voter Turnout as a Participation Game: An Experimental Investigation," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 385-406.
  4. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  5. Roberto Weber & Colin Camerer & Marc Knez, 2004. "Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and “Weak Link†Coordination Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 25-48, February.
  6. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
  7. Schram, Arthur & van Winden, Frans, 1991. "Why people vote : Free riding and the production and consumption of social pressure," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 575-620, December.
  8. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  9. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Why free ride? : Strategies and learning in public goods experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 291-304, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Pedro Dal Bo & Andrew Foster & Louis Putterman, 2007. "Institutions and Behavior: Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Democracy," Working Papers 2007-9, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. R. Emre Aytimur & Aristotelis Boukouras & Robert Schwager, 2012. "Voting as a Signaling Device," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 108, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  3. Avi Ben-Bassat & Momi Dahan, 2012. "Social identity and voting behavior," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 193-214, April.
  4. Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2009. "Voting Motives, Group Identity, and Social Norms," Working Papers in Economics 366, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  5. John Duffy & Sourav Bhattacharya & Sun-Tak Kim, 2012. "Compulsory versus Voluntary Voting: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 492, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2013.
  6. John Duffy & Margit Tavits, 2006. "Beliefs and Voting Decisions: A Test of the Pivotal Voter Model," Working Papers 273, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised May 2007.
  7. R. Aytimur & Aristotelis Boukouras & Robert Schwager, 2014. "Voting as a signaling device," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 55(3), pages 753-777, April.

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