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Non-Consequentialist Voting

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  • Moses Shayo
  • Alon Harel

Abstract

Standard theory assumes that voters' preferences over actions (voting) are induced by their preferences over electoral outcomes (policies, candidates). But voters may also have non-consequentialist (NC) motivations: they may care about how they vote even if it does not a¤ect the outcome. When the likelihood of being pivotal is small, NC motivations can dominate voting behavior. To examine the prevalence of NC motivations, we design an experiment that exogenously varies the probability of being pivotal yet holds constant other features of the decision environment. We find a significant e¤ect, consistent with at least 12.5% of subjects being motivated by NC concerns.

Suggested Citation

  • Moses Shayo & Alon Harel, 2010. "Non-Consequentialist Voting," Discussion Paper Series dp545, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp545
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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