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On Expressive Voting: Evidence from the 1988 U.S. Presidential Election

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  • Kan, Kamhon
  • Yang, C C

Abstract

People turn out to cast their votes simply because they want to "cheer" or "boo" their favored or unfavored candidates. This expressive voting behavior is in marked contrast to the instrumental voting behavior, i.e., people vote because they perceive voting as a means of achieving a particular election outcome. In this paper we report an econometric study on voting behavior that uses data from the 1988 American National Election Study. The results reveal that the "cheering" and "booing" effects are statistically significant, and that they exert substantial influence on both turnout and voter choice. We also obtain evidence against the proposition that people turn out to vote because they consider themselves to be potentially decisive with regard to the election outcome. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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  • Kan, Kamhon & Yang, C C, 2001. "On Expressive Voting: Evidence from the 1988 U.S. Presidential Election," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 108(3-4), pages 295-312, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:108:y:2001:i:3-4:p:295-312
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    Cited by:

    1. Ebonya Washington, 2012. "Do Majority-Black Districts Limit Blacks' Representation? The Case of the 1990 Redistricting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(2), pages 251-274.
    2. repec:eee:pubeco:v:157:y:2018:i:c:p:107-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ebonya L. Washington, 2011. "Do Majority Black Districts Limit Blacks' Representation? The Case of the 1990 Redistricting," NBER Working Papers 17099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Barton, Jared & Rodet, Cortney, 2015. "Are political statements only expressive? An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 174-186.
    5. Chun-chieh Wang, 2012. "Expressive voting, vanishing moderate voters, and divergent ideologies," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 2727-2733.
    6. Burnett, Wesley & Lacombe, Donald J., 2012. "Accounting for Spatial Autocorrelation in the 2004 Presidential Popular Vote: A Reassessment of the Evidence," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 42(1), pages 75-89, Spring.
    7. Arye Hillman, 2011. "Expressive voting and identity: evidence from a case study of a group of U.S. voters," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 249-257, July.
    8. Dennis, Christopher & Medoff, Marshall H. & Magnera, Michael, 2008. "Constituents' economic interests and senator support for spending limitations," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2443-2453, December.
    9. Gebhard Kirchgässner & Tobias Schulz, 2005. "Expected Closeness or Mobilisation: Why Do Voters Go to the Polls? Empirical Results for Switzerland, 1981 – 1999," CESifo Working Paper Series 1387, CESifo Group Munich.

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