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Non-consequentialist voting

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  • Shayo, Moses
  • Harel, Alon

Abstract

Standard theory assumes that voters’ preferences over actions (voting) are induced by their preferences over electoral outcomes (policies, candidates). But voters may also have non-consequentialist (NC) motivations: they may care about how they vote even if it does not affect the outcome. When the likelihood of being pivotal is small, NC motivations can dominate voting behavior. To examine the prevalence of NC motivations, we design an experiment that exogenously varies the probability of being pivotal yet holds constant other features of the decision environment. We find a significant effect, consistent with at least 12.5 percent of subjects being motivated by NC concerns.

Suggested Citation

  • Shayo, Moses & Harel, Alon, 2012. "Non-consequentialist voting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 299-313.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:1:p:299-313 DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.10.021
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    Cited by:

    1. Barton, Jared & Rodet, Cortney, 2015. "Are political statements only expressive? An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 174-186.
    2. Paetzel, Fabian & Sausgruber, Rupert & Traub, Stefan, 2014. "Social preferences and voting on reform: An experimental study," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 36-55.
    3. Emir Kamenica & Louisa Egan Brad, 2014. "Voters, dictators, and peons: expressive voting and pivotality," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 159-176, April.
    4. Chen, Daniel L. & Schonger, Martin, 2016. "Social preferences or sacred values? Theroy and evidence of deontological motivations," TSE Working Papers 16-714, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    5. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2015. "Behavioral political economy: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 395-417.
    6. Höchtl, Wolfgang & Sausgruber, Rupert & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "Inequality aversion and voting on redistribution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1406-1421.
    7. Matthias Dahm & Amihai Glazer, 2012. "How An Agenda Setter Induces Legislators to Adopt Policies They Oppose," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2012-11-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.
    8. Dittmann, Ingolf & Kübler, Dorothea & Maug, Ernst & Mechtenberg, Lydia, 2014. "Why votes have value: Instrumental voting with overconfidence and overestimation of others' errors," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 17-38.
    9. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2014. "Behavioral public choice: A survey," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 14/03, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    10. Alan Gerber & Mitchell Hoffman & John Morgan & Collin Raymond, 2017. "One in a Million: Field Experiments on Perceived Closeness of the Election and Voter Turnout," NBER Working Papers 23071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Morton, Rebecca B. & Ou, Kai, 2015. "What motivates bandwagon voting behavior: Altruism or a desire to win?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 224-241.
    12. Ivo Bischoff & Carolin Neuhaus & Peter Trautner & Bernd Weber, 2012. "The Neuroeconomics of Voting: Neural Evidence of Different Sources of Utility in Voting," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201234, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    13. Dahm, Matthias & Glazer, Amihai, 2015. "A carrot and stick approach to agenda-setting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 465-480.
    14. Vadim Cherepanov & Tim Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2013. "Revealed preferences and aspirations in warm glow theory," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 54(3), pages 501-535, November.
    15. Sophie Harnay & Elisabeth Tovar, 2017. "Obeying vs. resisting unfair laws. A structural analysis of the internalization of collective preferences on redistribution using classification trees and random forests," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-34, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    16. Bischoff, Ivo & Egbert, Henrik, 2013. "Social information and bandwagon behavior in voting: An economic experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 270-284.
    17. Arenas, Andreu, 2016. "Sticky votes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 12-25.
    18. Bischoff, Ivo & Krauskopf, Thomas, 2015. "Warm glow of giving collectively – An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 210-218.
    19. Brad Taylor, 2015. "Strategic and expressive voting," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 159-170, June.
    20. Ivo Bischoff & Thomas Krauskopf, 2013. "Motives of pro-social behavior in individual versus collective decisions – a comparative experimental study," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201319, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Expressive voting; Social preferences; Extended preferences; Elections; Democracy;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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