The Neuroeconomics of Voting: Neural Evidence of Different Sources of Utility in Voting
AbstractWhich motives drive the decision of a voter to approve or reject a policy proposal? The Public Choice literature distinguishes between instrumental and expressive voting motives. We investigate the importance of these motives by analysing the patterns of neural activity in different voting situations. We conduct an fMRI-experiment which investigates neural activation at the moment of voting and use the altruism scale proposed by Tankersley et al. (2007) to differentiate between altruists and non-altruists. Non-altruists show neural activation patterns that are consistent with expressive voting motives. Among non-altruists, we also find activation patterns that point at egoistic instrumental motives. Both results are in line with the corresponding Public Choice literature. On the other hand, we find no evidence for expressive voting motives among altruists. Their neural activation pattern is generally much less conclusive with respect to the underlying motives.
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 Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) in its series MAGKS Papers on Economics with number 201234.
Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in
Voting behavior; expressive voting; instrumental voting; political decision making; charitable donation; neuroscience; neuroeconomics; neuropolitical; fMRI;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2012-07-23 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-EXP-2012-07-23 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-NEU-2012-07-23 (Neuroeconomics)
- NEP-POL-2012-07-23 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2012-07-23 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-UPT-2012-07-23 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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.:
- Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
- Hong, Chew Soo & Konrad, Kai A, 1998.
"Bandwagon Effects and Two-Party Majority Voting,"
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty,
Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 165-72, May-June.
- Geoffrey Brennan & Alan Hamlin, 1998.
"Expressive voting and electoral equilibrium,"
Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 149-175, April.
- Chorvat, Terrence, 2007. "Tax Compliance and the Neuroeconomics of Intertemporal Substitution," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 60(3), pages 577-88, September.
- Moses Shayo & Alon Harel, 2010. "Non-Consequentialist Voting," Discussion Paper Series dp545, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
- Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
- Jean-Robert Tyran, 2002.
"Voting when Money and Morals Conflict - An Experimental Test of Expressive Voting,"
University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002
2002-07, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
- Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2004. "Voting when money and morals conflict: an experimental test of expressive voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1645-1664, July.
- Carter, John R & Guerette, Stephen D, 1992. " An Experimental Study of Expressive Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 251-60, April.
- Shayo, Moses & Harel, Alon, 2012. "Non-consequentialist voting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 299-313.
- Ivo Bischoff & Thomas Krauskopf, 2013. "Motives of pro-social behavior in individual versus collective decisions – a comparative experimental study," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201319, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bernd Hayo).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.