Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Momentum and Social Learning in Presidential Primaries

Contents:

Author Info

  • Brian Knight
  • Nathan Schiff

Abstract

This paper provides an investigation of the role of momentum and social learning in sequential voting systems. In the econometric model, voters are uncertain over candidate quality, and voters in late states attempt to infer the information held by those in early states from voting returns. Candidates experience momentum effects when their performance in early states exceeds expectations. The empirical application focuses on the responses of daily polling data to the release of voting returns in the 2004 presidential primary. We find that Kerry benefited from surprising wins in early states and took votes away from Dean, who held a strong lead prior to the beginning of the primary season. The voting weights implied by the estimated model demonstrate that early voters have up to 20 times the influence of late voters in the selection of candidates, demonstrating a significant departure from the ideal of "one person, one vote." We then address several alternative, non-learning explanations for our results. Finally, we run simulations under different electoral structures and find that a simultaneous election would have been more competitive due to the absence of herding and that alternative sequential structures would have yielded different outcomes.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13637.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13637.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Brian Knight & Nathan Schiff, 2010. "Momentum and Social Learning in Presidential Primaries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1110 - 1150.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13637

Note: PE POL
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2007. "Aggregation Reversals and the Social Formation of Beliefs," NBER Working Papers 13031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nageeb Ali & Navin Kartik, 2006. "A Theory of Momentum in Sequential Voting," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews, www.najecon.org 321307000000000016, www.najecon.org.
  4. Battaglini, Marco & Morton, Rebecca & Palfrey, Thomas R, 2005. "Efficiency, Equity and Timing in Voting Mechanisms," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5291, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Welch, Ivo, 1992. " Sequential Sales, Learning, and Cascades," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 695-732, June.
  6. Hongbin Cai & Yuyu Chen & Hanming Fang, 2007. "Observational Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 13516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Eddie Dekel & Michele Piccione, 2000. "Sequential Voting Procedures in Symmetric Binary Elections," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(1), pages 34-55, February.
  8. Battaglini, Marco, 2005. "Sequential voting with abstention," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 445-463, May.
  9. Eddie Dekel & Michele Piccione, 1997. "On the Equivalence of Simultaneous and Sequential Binary Elections," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 1206, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2004. "Prediction Markets," NBER Working Papers 10504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Welch, Ivo, 2000. "Herding among security analysts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 369-396, December.
  12. Devenow, Andrea & Welch, Ivo, 1996. "Rational herding in financial economics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 603-615, April.
  13. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Home Pages, University of Pennsylvania _068, University of Pennsylvania.
  14. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
  15. Klumpp, Tilman & Polborn, Mattias K., 2006. "Primaries and the New Hampshire Effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1073-1114, August.
  16. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
  17. Strumpf, Koleman S, 2002. " Strategic Competition in Sequential Election Contests," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 111(3-4), pages 377-97, June.
  18. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  19. Steven Callander, 2007. "Bandwagons and Momentum in Sequential Voting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 653-684.
  20. McKelvey, Richard D. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1985. "Elections with limited information: A fulfilled expectations model using contemporaneous poll and endorsement data as information sources," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 55-85, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

RePEc Biblio mentions

As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Political Economy > The Political Economy of the US
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. S. Ali & Navin Kartik, 2012. "Herding with collective preferences," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 601-626, November.
  2. Meredith, Marc & Malhotra, Neil, 2008. "Can October Surprise? A Natural Experiment Assessing Late Campaign Effects," Research Papers, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business 2002, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  3. Ariel Guerreiro & Joao Amaro de Matos, 2013. "Referenda outcomes and the influence of polls: a social network feedback process," FEUNL Working Paper Series, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia wp578, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  4. Andrew T. Ching & Tülin Erdem & Michael P. Keane, 2013. "Learning Models: An Assessment of Progress, Challenges and New Developments," Economics Papers, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford 2013-W07, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  5. Philipp Denter & Dana Sisak, 2013. "Do Polls create Momentum in Political Competition?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers, Tinbergen Institute 13-169/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Patrick Hummel & Brian Knight, 2012. "Sequential or Simultaneous Elections? A Welfare Analysis," NBER Working Papers 18076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Nathan Yang, 2011. "An Empirical Model of Industry Dynamics with Common Uncertainty and Learning from the Actions of Competitors," Working Papers, NET Institute 11-16, NET Institute.
  8. Deniz Selman, 2011. "Optimal Sequencing of Presidential Primaries," Working Papers, Bogazici University, Department of Economics 2011/09, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  9. Denter, Philipp & Sisak, Dana, 2013. "Do Polls Create Momentum in Political Campaigns?," Economics Working Paper Series, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science 1326, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  10. Patrick Hummel & Richard Holden, 2013. "Optimal Primaries," NBER Working Papers 19340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Emilio Barucci & Marco Tolotti, 2012. "Identity, reputation and social interaction with an application to sequential voting," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 79-98, May.
  12. Robert Hodgson & John Maloney, 2013. "Bandwagon effects in British elections, 1885–1910," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 73-90, October.
  13. Enrico Moretti, 2008. "Social Learning and Peer Effects in Consumption: Evidence from Movie Sales," NBER Working Papers 13832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Hummel, Patrick, 2012. "Sequential voting in large elections with multiple candidates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 341-348.

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
  1. Momentum and Social Learning in Presidential Primaries (JPE 2010) in ReplicationWiki

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13637. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.