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

Public Opinion Polls, Voter Turnout, and Welfare: An Experimental Study

Contents:

Author Info

  • Jens Großer

    ()

  • Arthur Schram

    ()

Abstract

We experimentally study the impact of public opinion poll releases on voter turnout and welfare in a participation game. We find higher turnout rates when polls inform the electorate about the levels of support for various candidates than when polls are prohibited. Distinguishing between allied and floating voters, our data show that this increase in turnout is entirely due to floating voters. Very high turnout is observed when polls indicate equal support levels for the candidates. This has negative consequences for welfare. Though in aggregate social welfare is hardly affected, majorities benefit more often from polls than minorities. Finally, our comparative static results are better predicted by quantal response (logit) equilibrium than by Bayesian Nash equilibrium.

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.labsi.org/wp/labsi14.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Siena in its series Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena with number 014.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usi:labsit:014

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Piazza San Francesco 7, 53100 Siena
Web page: http://www.depfid.unisi.it/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: laboratory experiments.;

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. Gary Bornstein & Tamar Kugler & Shmuel Zamir, 2003. "One Team Must Win, the Other Need Only Not Lose: An Experimental Study of an Asymmetric Participation Game," Discussion Paper Series dp317, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  2. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 625018000000000232, www.najecon.org.
  3. John Duffy & Margit Tavits, 2006. "Beliefs and Voting Decisions: A Test of the Pivotal Voter Model," Working Papers 273, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised May 2007.
  4. Charles Zech, 1975. "Leibenstein's bandwagon effect as applied to voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 117-122, March.
  5. Jacob Goeree & Jens Großer, 2007. "Welfare Reducing Polls," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 51-68, April.
  6. Mailath George J. & Matthews Steven A. & Sekiguchi Tadashi, 2002. "Private Strategies in Finitely Repeated Games with Imperfect Public Monitoring," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-23, June.
  7. Vai-Lam Mui & Timothy N. Cason, 2004. "Uncertainty and Resistance to Reform in Laboratory Participation Games," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 1, Econometric Society.
  8. Esteban F. Klory & Eyal Winter, 2006. "On Public Opinion Polls and Voters' Turnout," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000451, David K. Levine.
  9. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  10. Roger B. Myerson, 1994. "Population Uncertainty and Poisson Games," Discussion Papers 1102R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. 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, vol. 36(1), pages 55-85, June.
  12. Colin M. Campbell, 1999. "Large Electorates and Decisive Minorities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1199-1217, December.
  13. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1993. " The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 855-78, December.
  14. Roger B. Myerson & Robert J. Weber, 1988. "A Theory of Voting Equilibria," Discussion Papers 782, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "The Swing Voter's Curse," Discussion Papers 1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
  17. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
  18. Richard McKelvey & Peter Ordeshook, 1984. "Rational expectations in elections: some experimental results based on a multidimensional model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 61-102, January.
  19. Brown, Lloyd B. & Chappell Jr., Henry W., 1999. "Forecasting presidential elections using history and polls," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 127-135, April.
  20. John Ledyard, 1984. "The pure theory of large two-candidate elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 7-41, January.
  21. Arthur Schram & John Sonnemans, 2001. "Voter Turnout as a Participation Game: An Experimental Investigation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 563824000000000033, David K. Levine.
  22. Kenneth Brown & Charles Zech, 1973. "Welfare effects of announcing election forecasts," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 117-123, March.
  23. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
  24. McKelvey, Richard D. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1987. "Elections with limited information: A multidimensional model," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 77-99, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Großer, Jens & Reuben, Ernesto, 2013. "Redistribution and market efficiency: An experimental study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 39-52.
  2. Luca Corazzini & Sebastian Kube & Michel André Maréchal & Antonio Nicolò, 2009. "Elections and deceptions: an experimental study on the behavioral effects of democracy," IEW - Working Papers 421, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich, revised Aug 2013.
  3. Thomas Jensen & Asger Lau Andersen, 2010. "Exit Polls and Voter Turnout," EPRU Working Paper Series 2010-10, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  4. Marcelo Tyszler & Arthur Schram, 2011. "Information and Strategic Voting," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-025/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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:usi:labsit:014. 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: (Alessandro Innocenti).

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.