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Voting when money and morals conflict: an experimental test of expressive voting

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  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

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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  • Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2004. "Voting when money and morals conflict: an experimental test of expressive voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1645-1664, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:88:y:2004:i:7-8:p:1645-1664
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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