Attitude-Dependent Altruism, Turnout and Voting
AbstractThis paper presents a goal-oriented model of political participation based on two psychological assumptions. The first is that people are more altruistic towards individuals that agree with them and the second is that people's well-being rises when other people share their personal opinions. The act of voting is then a source of vicarious utility because it raises the well-being of individuals that agree with the voter. Substantial equilibrium turnout emerges with nontrivial voting costs and modest altruism. The model can explain higher turnout in close elections as well as votes for third-party candidates with no prospect of victory. For certain parameters, these third party candidates lose votes to more popular candidates, a phenomenon often called strategic voting. For other parameters, the model predicts "vote-stealing" where the addition of a third candidate robs a viable major candidate of electoral support.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14302.
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Julio Rotemberg, 2009. "Attitude-dependent altruism, turnout and voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 223-244, July.
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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Other versions of this item:
- D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2008-09-13 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2008-09-13 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2008-09-13 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-UPT-2008-09-13 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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