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Social Preferences and Voting: An Exploration Using a Novel Preference Revealing Mechanism

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Listed:
  • Messer, Kent D.
  • Poe, Gregory L.
  • Rondeau, Daniel
  • Schulze, William D.
  • Vossler, Christian A.

Abstract

Public referenda are frequently used to determine the provision of public goods. As public programs have distributional consequences, a compelling question is what role if any social preferences have on voting behavior. This paper explores this issue using laboratory experiments wherein voting outcomes lead to a known distribution of net benefits across participants. Preferences are elicited using a novel Random Price Voting Mechanism (RPVM), which is a more parsimonious mechanism than dichotomous choice referenda, but gives consistent results. Results suggest that social preferences, in particular a social efficiency motive, lead to economically meaningful deviations from self-interested voting choices and increase the likelihood that welfare-enhancing programs are implemented.

Suggested Citation

  • Messer, Kent D. & Poe, Gregory L. & Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D. & Vossler, Christian A., 2008. "Social Preferences and Voting: An Exploration Using a Novel Preference Revealing Mechanism," Working Papers 51132, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:51132
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kesternich, Iris & Schumacher, Heiner & Winter, Joachim, 2014. "Professional norms and physician behavior: homo oeconomicus or homo hippocraticus?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 456, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    2. Christian A. Vossler & Maurice Doyon & Daniel Rondeau, 2012. "Truth in Consequentiality: Theory and Field Evidence on Discrete Choice Experiments," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 145-171, November.
    3. Markussen, Thomas & Putterman, Louis & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2016. "Judicial error and cooperation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 372-388.
    4. Messer, Kent D. & Poe, Gregory L. & Schulze, William D., 2008. "The Value of Private Risk Versus the Value of Public Risk: An Experimental Analysis of the Johannesson et al. Conjecture," Working Papers 51141, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    5. Kecinski, Maik & Kerley Keisner, Deborah & Messer, Kent D. & Schulze, William D., 2016. "Stigma mitigation and the importance of redundant treatments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 44-52.
    6. Brent, Daniel A. & Gangadharan, Lata & Leroux, Anke & Raschky, Paul, 2016. "Putting Your Money Where Your Month Is," 2016 Conference (60th), February 2-5, 2016, Canberra, Australia 235377, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    7. Meya, Johannes & Poutvaara, Panu & Schwager, Robert, 2017. "Pocketbook Voting, Social Preferences, and Expressive Motives in Referenda," Discussion Papers in Economics 38425, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    8. Buckley, Neil & Cuff, Katherine & Hurley, Jeremiah & Mestelman, Stuart & Thomas, Stephanie & Cameron, David, 2015. "Support for public provision of a private good with top-up and opt-out: A controlled laboratory experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 177-196.
    9. Giuseppe Albanese & Marika Cioffi & Pietro Tommasino, 2017. "Legislators' behaviour and electoral rules: evidence from an Italian reform," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1135, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    10. Pascal Courty & Daniel Rondeau & Maurice Doyon, 2015. "Unbundling Truthful Revelation when Auctioning Bundled Goods," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2512-2517.
    11. G. Pignataro & G. Prarolo, 2012. "One more in my backyard? Insights from the 2011 Italian nuclear referendum," Working Papers wp837, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    12. Johannes Meya & Panu Poutvaara & Robert Schwager, 2015. "Pocketbook Voting and Social Preferences in Referenda," CESifo Working Paper Series 5267, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Krawczyk, Michał, 2012. "Testing for hypothetical bias in willingness to support a reforestation program," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 282-289.
    14. Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander James & Stéphane Luchini & Jason F. Shogren, 2017. "Referenda Under Oath," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 67(3), pages 479-504, July.
    15. Christian A. Vossler, 2016. "Chamberlin Meets Ciriacy-Wantrup: Using Insights from Experimental Economics to Inform Stated Preference Research," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 64(1), pages 33-48, March.
    16. Vivian Hoffmann & Jacob R. Fooks & Kent D. Messer, 2014. "Measuring and Mitigating HIV Stigma: A Framed Field Experiment," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(4), pages 701-726.
    17. Johnston, Marie, 2014. "Contingent Valuation: A Comparison of Referendum and Voluntary Contribution Mechanisms," 2014 Conference (58th), February 4-7, 2014, Port Macquarie, Australia 165843, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    18. Christian Vossler & J. Scott Holladay, 2016. "Alternative Value Elicitation Formats in Contingent Valuation: A New Hope," Working Papers 2016-02, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.
    19. repec:kap:enreec:v:70:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10640-017-0113-z is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Christian A. Vossler & Ewa Zawojska, 2018. "Toward a better understanding of elicitation effects in stated preference studies," Working Papers 2018-01, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.
    21. Kesternich, Iris & Schumacher, Heiner & Winter, Joachim, 2015. "Professional norms and physician behavior: Homo oeconomicus or homo hippocraticus?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 1-11.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Institutional and Behavioral Economics; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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