Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The limited power of voting to limit power

Contents:

Author Info

  • Hong Geng
  • Arne Robert Weiss
  • Irenaeus Wolff

Abstract

In this paper, we experimentally approach the question of which aspects of a voting procedure are able to restrict elected candidates' willingness to use their power in an opportunistic way. For this purpose, we rule out reelection concerns and analyse whether the presence of a vote by itself matters for the exercise of power. We compare two kinds of electoral campaigns: self-descriptions of personality and promises regarding prospective in-office behaviour. We find that social approval as conveyed by a vote does not suffice to induce pro-social choices by elected candidates. On the other hand, when campaigns are promise-based, elected candidates transfer more to their recipients than candidates selected by a random draw even though promises do not differ. This refutes explanations based on a taste for consistency or costs of lying. In contrast, the fact that the correlation between dictators' promises and their beliefs on voter expectations is considerably strengthened in the presence of a vote offers support to a guilt-aversion hypothesis. However, this support is qualified by the correlation between dicators' second-order beliefs and their choices, which is weaker than predicted. Overall, our results suggest the power of voting to limit the self-oriented exertion of power is limited and context-specific.

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.twi-kreuzlingen.ch/uploads/tx_cal/media/TWI-RPS-055-Geng-Weiss-Wolff-2010-09.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universit├Ąt Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 55.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0055

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Hauptstr. 90, CH-8280 Kreuzlingen 2
Phone: +41-71-677 05 10
Fax: +41-71-677 05 11
Email:
Web page: http://www.twi-kreuzlingen.ch/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Elections; Electoral campaigns; Promises; Guilt-aversion; Costs of lying; Dictator game; Social distance; Entitlement; Experiment;

Other versions of this item:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0055. 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: (Ulrich Wacker).

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.