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Why Votes Have a Value

Author

Listed:
  • Ingolf Dittmann
  • Dorothea Kübler
  • Ernst Maug
  • Lydia Mechtenberg

Abstract

We perform an experiment where subjects pay for the right to participate in a shareholder vote. We find that experimental subjects are willing to pay a significant premium for the voting right even though there should be no such premium in our setup under full rationality. Private benefits from controlling the firm are absent from our setup and overconfidence cannot explain the size of the observed voting premium. The premium disappears in treatments where voting has no material consequences for the subjects. We conclude that individuals enjoy being part of a group that exercises power and are therefore willing to pay for the right to vote even when the impact of their own vote on their payoffs is negligible.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingolf Dittmann & Dorothea Kübler & Ernst Maug & Lydia Mechtenberg, 2007. "Why Votes Have a Value," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-068, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2007-068
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    File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2007-068.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Schnedler, Wendelin & Dominiak, Adam, 2008. "Uncertainty Aversion and Preference for Randomization," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-39, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    2. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2014. "Behavioral public choice: A survey," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 14/03, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    3. Adam Dominiak & Wendelin Schnedler, 2011. "Attitudes toward uncertainty and randomization: an experimental study," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 48(2), pages 289-312, October.
    4. Emir Kamenica & Louisa Egan Brad, 2014. "Voters, dictators, and peons: expressive voting and pivotality," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 159-176, April.
    5. Bortolon, Patrícia M. & Câmara Leal, Ricardo P., 2014. "Dual-class unifications and corporate governance in Brazil," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 89-108.
    6. repec:eee:poleco:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:149-160 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Schnellenbach, Jan & Schubert, Christian, 2015. "Behavioral political economy: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 395-417.
    8. Aimone, Jason A. & Butera, Luigi & Stratmann, Thomas, 2018. "Altruistic punishment in elections," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 149-160.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Smoking; Voting; dual-class shares; paradox of voting; experimental economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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