IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v105y2015i1p322-53.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How Do Voters Respond to Information? Evidence from a Randomized Campaign

Author

Listed:
  • Chad Kendall
  • Tommaso Nannicini
  • Francesco Trebbi

Abstract

In a large-scale controlled trial in collaboration with the reelection campaign of an Italian incumbent mayor, we administered (randomized) messages about the candidate's valence or ideology. Informational treatments affected both actual votes in the precincts and individual vote declarations. Campaigning on valence brought more votes to the incumbent, but both messages affected voters' beliefs. Cross-learning occurred, as voters who received information about the incumbent also updated their beliefs on the opponent. With a novel protocol of beliefs elicitation and structural estimation, we assess the weights voters place upon politicians' valence and ideology, and simulate counterfactual campaigns. (JEL D12, D72, D83)

Suggested Citation

  • Chad Kendall & Tommaso Nannicini & Francesco Trebbi, 2015. "How Do Voters Respond to Information? Evidence from a Randomized Campaign," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 322-353, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:1:p:322-53
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20131063
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.20131063
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/app/10501/20131063_app.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/10501/20131063_data.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/ds/10501/20131063_ds.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pedro C. Vicente, 2014. "Is Vote Buying Effective? Evidence from a Field Experiment in West Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(574), pages 356-387, February.
    2. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-26.
    3. Asher A. Blass & Saul Lach & Charles F. Manski, 2010. "Using Elicited Choice Probabilities To Estimate Random Utility Models: Preferences For Electricity Reliability," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(2), pages 421-440, May.
    4. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    5. John Duffy & Margit Tavits, 2008. "Beliefs and Voting Decisions: A Test of the Pivotal Voter Model," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(3), pages 603-618, July.
    6. Gerber, Alan S. & Green, Donald P., 2000. "The Effects of Canvassing, Telephone Calls, and Direct Mail on Voter Turnout: A Field Experiment," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 94(3), pages 653-663, September.
    7. Garthwaite, Paul H. & Kadane, Joseph B. & O'Hagan, Anthony, 2005. "Statistical Methods for Eliciting Probability Distributions," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 680-701, June.
    8. Basit Zafar, 2013. "College Major Choice and the Gender Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(3), pages 545-595.
    9. Wattenberg, Martin P. & Brians, Craig Leonard, 1999. "Negative Campaign Advertising: Demobilizer or Mobilizer?," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 891-899, December.
    10. David S. Lee & Enrico Moretti & Matthew J. Butler, 2004. "Do Voters Affect or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U. S. House," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 807-859.
    11. Pedro C. Vicente, 2007. "Is Vote Buying Effective? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in West Africa," Economics Series Working Papers 318, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    12. Aragones, Enriqueta & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2002. "Mixed Equilibrium in a Downsian Model with a Favored Candidate," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 131-161, March.
    13. Leonard Wantchekon, 2003. "Clientelism and voting behavior: Evidence from a field experiment in benin," Natural Field Experiments 00339, The Field Experiments Website.
    14. Stephen Coate, 2004. "Political Competition with Campaign Contributions and Informative Advertising," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 772-804, September.
    15. Mark N. Hertzendorf & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 2001. "Price Competition and Advertising Signals: Signaling by Competing Senders," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 621-662, December.
    16. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-333, March.
    17. repec:pit:wpaper:273 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Alan Gerber & Donald Green & Ron Shachar, 2003. "Voting may be habit forming: Evidence from a randomized field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00251, The Field Experiments Website.
    19. Elisabeth R. Gerber & Jeffrey B. Lewis, 2004. "Beyond the Median: Voter Preferences, District Heterogeneity, and Political Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
    20. Manski, Charles F. & Molinari, Francesca, 2010. "Rounding Probabilistic Expectations in Surveys," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(2), pages 219-231.
    21. Polborn, Mattias K. & David T., Yi, 2006. "Informative Positive and Negative Campaigning," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 1(4), pages 351-371, October.
    22. Nickerson, David W., 2008. "Is Voting Contagious? Evidence from Two Field Experiments," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 49-57, February.
    23. Thomas Fujiwara & Leonard Wantchekon, 2013. "Can Informed Public Deliberation Overcome Clientelism? Experimental Evidence from Benin," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 241-255, October.
    24. Gerber, Alan S. & Gimpel, James G. & Green, Donald P. & Shaw, Daron R., 2011. "How Large and Long-lasting Are the Persuasive Effects of Televised Campaign Ads? Results from a Randomized Field Experiment," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-150, February.
    25. Norman Schofield, 2003. "Valence Competition in the Spatial Stochastic Model," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 15(4), pages 371-383, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Xavier Giné & Ghazala Mansuri, 2018. "Together We Will: Experimental Evidence on Female Voting Behavior in Pakistan," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 207-235, January.
    2. Pereira dos Santos, João & Tavares, José & Vicente, Pedro C., 2021. "Can ATMs get out the vote? Evidence from a nationwide field experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    3. Grácio, Matilde & Vicente, Pedro C., 2021. "Information, get-out-the-vote messages, and peer influence: Causal effects on political behavior in Mozambique," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    4. Vincenzo Galasso & Tommaso Nannicini, 2016. "Persuasion and Gender: Experimental Evidence from Two Political Campaigns," CESifo Working Paper Series 5868, CESifo.
    5. Galasso, Vincenzo & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2013. "Men Vote in Mars, Women Vote in Venus: A Survey Experiment in the Field," CEPR Discussion Papers 9547, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. León, Gianmarco, 2017. "Turnout, political preferences and information: Experimental evidence from Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 56-71.
    7. Bekkouche, Yasmine & Cagé, Julia & Dewitte, Edgard, 2020. "The Heterogeneous Price of a Vote: Evidence from Multiparty Systems, 1993-2017," CEPR Discussion Papers 15150, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-03393084 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-03389172 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Yasmine Bekkouche & Julia Cage, 2019. "The Heterogeneous Price of a Vote: Evidence from France, 1993-2014," Sciences Po publications 2019-09, Sciences Po.
    11. Isaac Duerr & Thomas Knight & Lindsey Woodworth, 2019. "Evidence on the Effect of Political Platform Transparency on Partisan Voting," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 331-349, June.
    12. Alberto Chong & Gianmarco León‐Ciliotta & Vivian Roza & Martín Valdivia & Gabriela Vega, 2019. "Urbanization Patterns, Information Diffusion, and Female Voting in Rural Paraguay," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 63(2), pages 323-341, April.
    13. Bekkouche, Yasmine & Cagé, Julia, 2018. "The Price of a Vote: Evidence from France, 1993-2014," CEPR Discussion Papers 12614, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Pamela Giustinelli & Charles F. Manski, 2018. "Survey Measures Of Family Decision Processes For Econometric Analysis Of Schooling Decisions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(1), pages 81-99, January.
    15. Leopoldo Fergusson & Carlos A. Molina & James A. Robinson, 2020. "The Weak State Trap," NBER Working Papers 26848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Kevin Arceneaux & David W. Nickerson, 2009. "Who Is Mobilized to Vote? A Re‐Analysis of 11 Field Experiments," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(1), pages 1-16, January.
    17. Arcidiacono, Peter & Hotz, V. Joseph & Kang, Songman, 2012. "Modeling college major choices using elicited measures of expectations and counterfactuals," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 3-16.
    18. Caroline Le Pennec & Vincent Pons, 2019. "How Do Campaigns Shape Vote Choice? Multi-Country Evidence from 62 Elections and 56 TV Debates," NBER Working Papers 26572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Pamela Giustinelli, 2011. "Group Decision Making with Uncertain Outcomes: Unpacking Child-Parent Choices of High School Tracks," Working Papers 2011-030, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    20. Alberto Chong & Gianmarco León & Vivian Roza & Martin Valdivia & Gabriela Vega, 2017. "Urbanization patterns, social interactions and female voting in rural Paraguay," Economics Working Papers 1589, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    21. Marcel Fafchamps & Ana Vaz & Pedro C. Vicente, 2020. "Voting and Peer Effects: Experimental Evidence from Mozambique," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(2), pages 567-605.
    22. Schweri, Juerg & Hartog, Joop, 2017. "Do wage expectations predict college enrollment? Evidence from healthcare," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 135-150.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:1:p:322-53. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.