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Expressive Voting and Government Redistribution: Testing Tullock's `Charity of the Uncharitable'

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  • Russell S. Sobel

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  • Gary A. Wagner

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Abstract

Models of expressive voting postulate that voters will `consume' ideological stances on issues by voting for them, even when they are against the voter's own narrow self interest, if the probability of being a decisive voter is low. When a voter is unlikely to sway the outcome, the odds that a voter will incur any real personal cost (a higher tax burden, for example) from her own expressive vote is small. We test and find support for Tullock's straightforward empirical implication of this model, that government welfare (transfer) payments are inversely related to the probability of being the decisive voter.

Suggested Citation

  • Russell S. Sobel & Gary A. Wagner, 2004. "Expressive Voting and Government Redistribution: Testing Tullock's `Charity of the Uncharitable'," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(1_2), pages 143-159, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:119:y:2004:i:1_2:p:143-159
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:pubeco:v:157:y:2018:i:c:p:107-120 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Barton, Jared & Rodet, Cortney, 2015. "Are political statements only expressive? An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 174-186.
    3. Charles Beat Blankart & Simon Margraf, 2011. "Taxing Expats - Instrumental versus Expressive Voting Compared," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(IV), pages 461-478, December.
    4. Emir Kamenica & Louisa Egan Brad, 2014. "Voters, dictators, and peons: expressive voting and pivotality," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 159-176, April.
    5. Joshua C. Hall & Kaitlyn R. Harger, 2014. "Teaching Students to "Do" Public Choice in an Undergraduate Public Sector Course," Working Papers 14-16, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    6. Kjell Arne Brekke & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2008. "The behavioural economics of climate change," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 280-297, Summer.
    7. Eiji Yamamura, 2014. "Trust in government and its effect on preferences for income redistribution and perceived tax burden," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 71-100, February.
    8. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Social capital, household income, and preferences for income redistribution," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 498-511.
    9. Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
    10. Eiji Yamamura, 2014. "Comparing the influence of conflict on the perceptions of rich and poor: testing the hypothesis of Acemoglu and Robinson," ISER Discussion Paper 0911, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    11. Hamlin, Alan & Jennings, Colin, 2011. "Expressive Political Behaviour: Foundations, Scope and Implications," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(03), pages 645-670, July.
    12. Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2009. "Voting Motives, Group Identity, and Social Norms," Working Papers in Economics 366, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    13. Ignacio Lago & Sandra Bermúdez & Marc Guinjoan & Pablo Simón, 2014. "Turnout and fractionalization," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1404, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    14. John Ashworth & Benny Geys & Bruno Heyndels, 2006. "Everyone likes a winner: An empirical test of the effect of electoral closeness on turnout in a context of expressive voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 383-405, September.
    15. Eiji Yamamura, 2015. "Norm for redistribution, social capital, and perceived tax burden: comparison between highand low-income households," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 6(2).
    16. Brad Taylor, 2015. "Strategic and expressive voting," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 159-170, June.
    17. Jones Philip & Soguel Nils, 2010. "Fiscal Federalism at the Ballot Box: The Relevance of Expressive Voting," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 469-488, December.

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