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Rain, Emotions and Voting for the Status Quo

Author

Listed:
  • Meier, Amando N.
  • Schmid, Lukas

    () (University of Basel)

  • Stutzer, Alois

    () (University of Basel)

Abstract

Do emotions aect the decision between change and the status quo? We exploit exogenous variation in emotions caused by rain and analyze data on more than 870,000 municipal vote outcomes in Switzerland to address this question. The empirical tests are based on administrative ballot outcomes and individual postvote survey data. We find that rain decreases the share of votes for political change. Our robustness checks suggest that this finding is not driven by changes in the composition of the electorate and changes in information acquisition. In addition, we provide evidence that rain might have altered the outcome of several high-stake votes. We discuss the psychological mechanism and document that rain reduces the willingness to take risks, a pattern that is consistent with the observed reduction in the support for change.

Suggested Citation

  • Meier, Amando N. & Schmid, Lukas & Stutzer, Alois, 2019. "Rain, Emotions and Voting for the Status Quo," Working papers 2019/15, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2019/15
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Emotions ; voting ; status quo ; risk aversion ; rain ; direct democracy ; turnout;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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