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Exit Polls, Turnout, and Bandwagon Voting: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Rebecca B. Morton
  • Daniel Mueller
  • Lionel Page
  • Benno Torgler

Abstract

We exploit a voting reform in France to estimate the causal eff ect of exit poll information on turnout and bandwagon voting. Before the change in legislation, individuals in some French overseas territories voted after the election result had already been made public via exit poll information from mainland France. We estimate that knowing the exit poll information decreases voter turnout by about 12 percentage points. Our study is the fi rst clean empirical design outside of the laboratory to demonstrate the e ffect of such knowledge on voter turnout. Furthermore, we fi nd that exit poll information signi ficantly increases bandwagon voting; that is, voters who choose to turn out are more likely to vote for the expected winner.

Suggested Citation

  • Rebecca B. Morton & Daniel Mueller & Lionel Page & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Exit Polls, Turnout, and Bandwagon Voting: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," QuBE Working Papers 008, QUT Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:qut:qubewp:wp008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bernado Moreno & María del Pino Ramos-Sosa & Ismael Rodríguez-Lara, 2016. "Conformity, information and truthful voting," Working Papers 2016-01, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.
    2. Leonardo Bursztyn & Davide Cantoni & Patricia Funk & Noam Yuchtman, 2017. "Polls, the Press, and Political Participation: The Effects of Anticipated Election Closeness on Voter Turnout," NBER Working Papers 23490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Buscha, Franz & Muller, Daniel & Page, Lionel, 2017. "Can a common currency foster a shared social identity across different nations? The case of the euro," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 318-336.
    4. repec:kap:pubcho:v:171:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-016-0399-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Denter, Philipp & Sisak, Dana, 2015. "Do polls create momentum in political competition?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 1-14.
    6. repec:kap:pubcho:v:172:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0457-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Niklas Potrafke & Felix Rösel, 2016. "Opening Hours of Polling Stations and Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 6036, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Morton, Rebecca B. & Ou, Kai, 2015. "What motivates bandwagon voting behavior: Altruism or a desire to win?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 224-241.
    9. González-Díaz, Julio & Herold, Florian & Domínguez, Diego, 2016. "Strategic sequential voting," BERG Working Paper Series 113, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    10. Jean-Robert Tyran & Alexander K. Wagner, 2016. "Experimental Evidence on Expressive Voting," Discussion Papers 16-12, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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