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Voter Motivation and the Quality of Democratic Choice

Listed author(s):
  • Lydia Mechtenberg

    (Faculty of Business Economics and Social Sciences, University of Hamburg)

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

The quality of democratic choice critically depends on voter motivation, i.e. on voters’ willingness to cast an informed vote. If voters are motivated, voting may result in smart choices because of information aggregation but if voters remain ignorant, delegating decision making to an expert may yield better outcomes. We experimentally study a common interest situation in which we vary voters’ information cost and the competence of the expert. We find that voters are more motivated to collect information than predicted by standard theory and that voter motivation is higher when subjects demand to make choices by voting than when voting is imposed on subjects.

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File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/dp_2016/1613.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 16-13.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 15 Sep 2016
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1613
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