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Expressive voting and political ideology in a laboratory democracy

Author

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  • Wiese, Rasmus
  • Jong-A-Pin, Richard

Abstract

We test the theory of expressive voting in relation to political ideology in a laboratory experiment. After deriving our hypotheses from a decision theoretic model, we examine voting decisions in an experiment in which we use the size of the electorate as the treatment variable. Using a Heckman selection model that includes both the electoral participation decision and voting choice decision, we find mixed results for the expressive voting hypothesis. In line with expressive voting, our findings suggest that non-ideological voters are more likely to abstain from voting than ideological voters – especially when the electorate grows large. Concerning the voting choice decision between an equal but inefficient, and an unequal but efficient income distribution the evidence for expressive voting is mixed. We do find that voters with socialist (left wing) preferences behave expressively, but we do not find this effect for voters with capitalist (right wing) preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Wiese, Rasmus & Jong-A-Pin, Richard, 2017. "Expressive voting and political ideology in a laboratory democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 54-74.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:50:y:2017:i:c:p:54-74
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2016.12.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Massimo Bordignon & Tommaso Colussi, 2020. "Dancing with the Populist. New Parties, Electoral Rules and Italian Municipal Elections," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def092, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    2. Lyytikäinen, Teemu & Tukiainen, Janne, 2019. "Are voters rational?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 230-242.
    3. Yoshio Kamijo & Yoichi Hizen & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Teruyuki Tamura, 2019. "Voting on Behalf of a Future Generation: A Laboratory Experiment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(16), pages 1-21, August.
    4. Laméris, Maite D. & Jong-A-Pin, Richard & Garretsen, Harry, 2018. "On the measurement of voter ideology," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 417-432.
    5. Paetzel, Fabian & Lorenz, Jan & Tepe, Markus, 2018. "Transparency diminishes framing-effects in voting on redistribution: Some experimental evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 169-184.
    6. Rivas, Javier & Rockey, James, 2021. "Expressive voting with booing and cheering: Evidence from Britain," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    7. Deegen, Peter, 2019. "The political economy of biodiversity in representative democracy: Between the expressive and the instrumental domain," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 1-1.
    8. Mavridis, Christos & Serena, Marco, 2021. "Complete information pivotal-voter model with asymmetric group size and asymmetric benefits," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    C91; D720;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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