Voting to Tell Others
Why do people vote? We argue that social image plays a significant role in explaining turnout: people vote because others will ask. The expectation of being asked motivates turnout if individuals derive pride from telling others that they voted, or feel shame from admitting that they did not vote, provided that lying is costly. We design a field experiment to estimate the effect of social image concerns on voting. In a door-to-door survey about election turnout, we experimentally vary (i) the informational content and use of a flyer pre-announcing the survey, (ii) the duration and payment for the survey, and (iii) the incentives to lie about past voting. Our estimates suggest significant social image concerns. For a plausible range of lying costs, we estimate the monetary value of voting `because others will ask' to be in the range of $5-$15 for the 2010 Congressional election. In a complementary get-out-the-vote experiment, we inform potential voters before the election that we will ask them later whether they voted. We find suggestive evidence that the treatment increases turnout.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2014|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||IO LS PE POL|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2010. "Social image concerns and prosocial behavior: Field evidence from a nonlinear incentive scheme," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 225-237, November.
- David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2007.
"Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle,"
Documentos de Trabajo
236, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
- David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2007. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," NBER Working Papers 13314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 2005. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000643, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Jeremy Tobacman & David Laibson, 2007. "Estimating Discount Functions with Consumption Choices over the Lifecycle," Economics Series Working Papers 341, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- John List & Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012.
"Testing for altruism and social pressure in charitable giving,"
Natural Field Experiments
00137, The Field Experiments Website.
- Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 1-56.
- Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2009. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," NBER Working Papers 15629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- repec:feb:framed:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
- Coate, Stephen & Conlin, Michael & Moro, Andrea, 2008. "The performance of pivotal-voter models in small-scale elections: Evidence from Texas liquor referenda," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 582-596, April.
- Ariely, Dan & Bracha, Anat & Meier, Stephan, 2007.
"Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2009. "Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 544-55, March.
- Dan Ariely & Anat Bracha & Stephan Meier, 2007. "Doing good or doing well? Image motivation and monetary incentives in behaving prosocially," Working Papers 07-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
- S. Nageeb Ali & Charles Lin, 2013. "Why People Vote: Ethical Motives and Social Incentives," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 73-98, May.
- Nava Ashraf & Oriana Bandiera & Kelsy Jack, 2012.
"No margin, no mission?: a field experiment on incentives for pro-social tasks,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
51614, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Ashraf, Nava & Bandiera, Oriana & Jack, Kelsey, 2012. "No margin, no mission? A Field Experiment on Incentives for Pro-Social Tasks," CEPR Discussion Papers 8834, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1082-1095.
- Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Marc Vorsatz, 2004.
"An Experimental Study of Truth-Telling in a Sender-Receiver Game,"
ESE Discussion Papers
128, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
- Sanchez-Pages, Santiago & Vorsatz, Marc, 2007. "An experimental study of truth-telling in a sender-receiver game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 86-112, October.
- Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Social norms and energy conservation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1082-1095, October.
- Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
- David Card & Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2011.
"The Role of Theory in Field Experiments,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 39-62, Summer.
- Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19832. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.