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Electoral fraud and voter turnout

Author

Listed:
  • Vardan Baghdasaryan

    (American University of Armenia - American University of Armenia)

  • Giovanna Iannantuoni

    (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca [Milano])

  • Valeria Maggian

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca [Milano])

Abstract

In this paper we experimentally investigate the consequences of electoral fraud on voter turnout. The experiment is based on a strategic binary voting model where voters decide whether to cast a costly vote in favour of their preferred candidate or to abstain. Minority candidate can illicitly influence the electoral process by applying ballot box stuffing. In the experiment we implement two different framings: we compare voter turnout in a neutral environment and with framed instructions to explicitly replicate elections. This approach enables to both test the model's predictions and to estimate framing effects of voting and fraud. Comparison of experimental results with theoretical predictions reveals over-voting, which is exac- erbated when fraud is applied. Moreover, turnout increases with moderate level of fraud. However, with more extensive electoral fraud, theoretical predictions are not matched. Voters fail to recognize that the existence of a relatively larger number of "agents" voting with certainty considerably decreases the benefits of voting. Importantly, framing matters, as revealed by the higher turnout of those in the majority group, against which the fraud is applied. Finally, individual level regression analysis provides evidences of strategic voting.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Vardan Baghdasaryan & Giovanna Iannantuoni & Valeria Maggian, 2016. "Electoral fraud and voter turnout," Post-Print halshs-01352122, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01352122
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01352122
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Matthew Ellman & Leonard Wantchekon, 2000. "Electoral Competition Under the Threat of Political Unrest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 499-531.
    2. Jens Großer & Arthur Schram, 2007. "Public Opinion Polls, Voter Turnout, and Welfare: An Experimental Study," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 014, University of Siena.
    3. Monika Buetler & Michel André Maréchal, 2007. "Framing Effects in Political Decision Making: Evidence from a Natural Voting Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1940, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Levine, David K. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 2007. "The Paradox of Voter Participation? A Laboratory Study," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 101(01), pages 143-158, February.
    5. Fukumoto, Kentaro & Horiuchi, Yusaku, 2011. "Making Outsiders' Votes Count: Detecting Electoral Fraud through a Natural Experiment," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(03), pages 586-603, August.
    6. Clémence VERGNE, 2009. "Turnout in Developing Countries: The Effect of Mass Media on National Voter Participation," Working Papers 200929, CERDI.
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    12. Paul Collier & Pedro Vicente, 2012. "Violence, bribery, and fraud: the political economy of elections in Sub-Saharan Africa," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 117-147, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco, De Sinopoli & Giovanna, Iannantuoni & Valeria, Maggian & Stefania, Ottone, 2018. "A Two-Party System under the Proportional Rule is Possible: Strategic Voting in the Lab," Working Papers 381, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 16 May 2018.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Laboratory experiment; Framing; Voting; Ballot rigging and Voter turnout;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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