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Voter Motivation and the Quality of Democratic Choice

Author

Listed:
  • Lydia Mechtenberg

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

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lydia Mechtenberg & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2016. "Voter Motivation and the Quality of Democratic Choice," Discussion Papers 16-13, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1613
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bhattacharya, Sourav & Duffy, John & Kim, SunTak, 2017. "Voting with endogenous information acquisition: Experimental evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 316-338.
    2. Schories, Fanny E., 2017. "Institutional Choice and Cooperation in Representative Democracies: An Experimental Approach," ILE Working Paper Series 9, University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    voting; experiment; information acquisition; information aggregation;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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