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Voting when Money and Morals Conflict - An Experimental Test of Expressive Voting

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  • Jean-Robert Tyran

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Abstract

Moral considerations may matter much in voting because the costs of expressing support for a morally worthy cause may be low in a referendum. These costs depend on whether a voter expects to affect the outcome of the referendum. To test the low-cost theory of expressive voting, we experimentally investigate a proposal to tax everyone and donate tax revenues. The analysis of expectations and voting decisions shows that expressive voting is common. However, the low-cost theory fails to explain voting decisions. Instead of affecting the costs of expressive voting, expectations appear to affect its benefits.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen in its series University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 with number 2002-07.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2002:2002-07

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Keywords: Expressive voting; low-cost theory; laboratory experiments.;

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