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Voting as a Signaling Device

Author

Listed:
  • R. Emre Aytimur

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

  • Aristotelis Boukouras

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

  • Robert Schwager

    (Georg-August-University Göttingen)

Abstract

In this paper, citizens vote in order to influence the election outcome and in order to signal their unobserved characteristics to others. The model is one of rational voting and generates the following predictions: (i) The paradox of not voting does not arise, because the benefi t of voting does not vanish with population size. (ii) Turnout in elections is positively related to the size of the local community and the importance of social interactions. (iii) Voting may exhibit bandwagon e ffects and small changes in the electoral incentives may generate large changes in turnout due to signaling effects. (iv) Signaling incentives increase the sensitivity of turnout to voting incentives in communities with low opportunity cost of social interaction, while the opposite is true for communities with high cost of social interaction. Therefore, the model predicts less volatile turnout for the latter type of communities.

Suggested Citation

  • R. Emre Aytimur & Aristotelis Boukouras & Robert Schwager, 2012. "Voting as a Signaling Device," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 108, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:108
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    File URL: http://www2.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/courant-papers/CRC-PEG_DP_108.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Herrera, Helios & Martinelli, Cesar, 2006. "Group formation and voter participation," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(4), pages 461-487, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruns, Christian & Himmler, Oliver, 2016. "Mass media, instrumental information, and electoral accountability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 75-84.
    2. R. Aytimur & Aristotelis Boukouras & Robert Schwager, 2014. "Voting as a signaling device," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(3), pages 753-777, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    electoral incentives; signaling; voting;

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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