If People Vote Because They Like to, Then Why Do So Many of Them Lie?
Of those eligible, about 40% do not vote in presidential elections. When asked, about a quarter of those nonvoters will lie to the survey takers and claim that they did. Increases in education are associated with higher voting rates and lower rates of lying overall, but with increased rates of lying conditional on not voting This paper proposes a model of voter turnout in which people who claim to vote get praise from other citizens Those who lie must bear the cost of lying The model has a stable equilibrium with positive rates of voting, honest non-voting, and lying. Reasonable parameter changes produce changes in these proportions in the same direction as the changes actually observed across education levels. I argue that a model where people vote because they want to be known as voters provides a better explanation for observed voting behavior than does a model where people vote because they want to vote. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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Volume (Year): 89 (1996)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (October)
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- Ashenfelter, Orley C & Kelley, Stanley, Jr, 1975. "Determinants of Participation in Presidential Elections," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 695-733, December.
- Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
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