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Electoral fraud and voter turnout

Listed author(s):
  • Vardan, Baghdasaryan
  • Giovanna, Iannantuoni
  • Valeria, Maggian

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.

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File URL: http://dems.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper315.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 315.

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Length: 46
Date of creation: 25 Nov 2015
Date of revision: 25 Nov 2015
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:315
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  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. Kentaro Fukumoto & Yusaku Horiuchi, 2011. "Making Outsiders' Votes Count: Detecting Electoral Fraud Through a Natural Experiment," Crawford School Research Papers 1101, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  5. Clémence VERGNE, 2009. "Turnout in Developing Countries: The Effect of Mass Media on National Voter Participation," Working Papers 200929, CERDI.
  6. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:101:y:2007:i:01:p:143-158_07 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2008. "Vote Buying: General Elections," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 351-380, 04.
  9. Gary E Bolton & Jordi Brandts & Axel Ockenfels, 2005. "Fair Procedures: Evidence from Games Involving Lotteries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 1054-1076, October.
  10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:105:y:2011:i:03:p:586-603_00 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. 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.
  12. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  13. Jens Großer & Tamar Kugler & Arthur Schram, 2003. "Preference Uncertainty, Voter Participation and Electoral Efficiency: An Experimental Study," Working Paper Series in Economics 2, University of Cologne, Department of Economics, revised 15 May 2005.
  14. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Why people vote: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 417-442, August.
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