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A Passion for Democracy

  • Elena Panova
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    Theories of voter turnout assume that an active voter receives a warm glow from doing a good deed to like-minded compatriots. What tells him that he is doing them a good deed by voting for this or that candidate or policy? Their own votes are naturally available feedback. We propose a dynamic model of voting with asymmetric information in which being among the majority provides a voter with a positive feedback on his voting decision, increasing his self confidence, hence, his warm glow from voting in the future. The voters who cannot tell which policy is superior, try to pool with a majority (so as to get involved in the democratic process). They vote much according to the available public information, however, without herding. We find these effects in the unique equilibrium of our voting game. Les théories de vote supposent qu'un électeur reçoit de la satisfaction ou du « warm glow » quand il vote. Le « warm glow » est créé par la confiance d'une bonne action envers ses compatriotes. Qu'est-ce qui fait croire à un électeur qu'il fait une bonne action envers ses compatriotes en votant pour telle ou telle plateforme politique? Leurs propres votes sont un signal naturellement disponible. Nous proposons un modèle dynamique de vote avec des informations asymétriques dans lequel la majorité fournit un signal positif sur le choix de vote. Ce signal augmente la confiance de l'électeur en ses choix de vote, et par conséquent, son « warm glow » de votes prochains. Les électeurs qui ne peuvent pas distinguer quelle plateforme politique est supérieure essaient d'imiter le vote de majorité afin de bâtir la confiance en ses choix de vote et s'impliquer dans le processus démocratique. Ils votent surtout selon les informations publiques disponibles, cependant, sans « herding ». Nous trouvons ces effets dans l'équilibre unique de notre jeu de vote.

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    File URL: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2011s-47.pdf
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    Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2011s-47.

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    Length: 49 pages
    Date of creation: 01 May 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2011s-47
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    1. Benny Geys, 2006. "'Rational' Theories of Voter Turnout: A Review," Political Studies Review, Political Studies Association, vol. 4(1), pages 16-35.
    2. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234, 08.
    3. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
    4. Alan Gerber & Daniel Bergan & Dean Karlan, 2006. "Does the media matter? A field experiment measuring the effect of newspapers on voting behavior and political opinions," Natural Field Experiments 00252, The Field Experiments Website.
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    7. Ruben Enikolopov & Maria Petrova & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3253-85, December.
    8. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2011. "A Structural Model Of Turnout And Voting In Multiple Elections," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-245, 04.
    9. David Dreyer Lassen, 2004. "The Effect of Information on Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," EPRU Working Paper Series 04-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    10. Arianna Degan, 2006. "Policy Positions, Information Acquisition and Turnout," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 669-682, December.
    11. DHILLON, Amrita & PERALTA, Susana, . "Economic theories of voter turnout," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1563, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    12. Alan S. Gerber & Gregory A. Huber & Ebonya Washington, 2009. "Party Affiliation, Partisanship, and Political Beliefs: A Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 15365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. 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.
    14. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
    15. Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2010. "Why Do You Vote and Vote as You Do?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 495-516, November.
    16. Callander, Steven, 2008. "Majority rule when voters like to win," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 393-420, November.
    17. Bryan Caplan, 2007. "Introduction to The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies
      [The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies]
      ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
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