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Voting And Social Pressure Under Imperfect Information


  • Alexander T. Clark
  • Nicholas H. Tenev


We develop a model in which costly voting in a large, two‐party election is a sequentially rational choice of strategic, self‐interested players who can reward fellow voters by forming stronger ties in a network formation coordination game. The predictions match a variety of stylized facts, including explaining why an individual's voting behavior may depend on what she knows about her friends' actions. Players have imperfect information about others' voting behavior, and we find that some degree of privacy may be necessary for voting in equilibrium, enabling hypocritical but useful social pressure. Our framework applies to any costly prosocial behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander T. Clark & Nicholas H. Tenev, 2019. "Voting And Social Pressure Under Imperfect Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1705-1735, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:60:y:2019:i:4:p:1705-1735
    DOI: 10.1111/iere.12401

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    Cited by:

    1. Tenev, Nicholas H, 2020. "Social Connections and Racial Wage Inequality," SocArXiv vm82w, Center for Open Science.
    2. Gabriel Martinez & Nicholas H. Tenev, 2020. "Optimal Echo Chambers," Papers 2010.01249,, revised Feb 2024.

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