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