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Bandwagon voting or false-consensus effect in voting experiments? First results and methodological limits

  • Bischoff, Ivo
  • Egbert, Henrik

In an experiment designed to test for expressive voting, Tyran (JPubEc 2004) found a strong positive correlation between the participants' approval to a proposal to donate money for charity and their expected approval rate for fellow voters. This phenomenon can be due to a bandwagon effect or a false consensus effect. Both effects have been reported for voting decisions in the social science literature. Redoing Tyran's experiment and adding new treatments, we provide evidence for a false consensus effect. Following the experimental tradition in economics in not giving false feedback to participants, we are left with only weak tests for the impact of bandwagon motives and find none.

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Paper provided by Justus Liebig University Giessen, Center for international Development and Environmental Research (ZEU) in its series Discussion Papers with number 38.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zeudps:38
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.uni-giessen.de/cms/faculties/research-centers/zeu-en/view

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  1. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  2. Brennan, Geoffrey & Hamlin, Alan, 1998. " Expressive Voting and Electoral Equilibrium," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 149-75, April.
  3. Carter, John R & Guerette, Stephen D, 1992. " An Experimental Study of Expressive Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 251-60, April.
  4. Davis, Harry L & Hoch, Stephen J & Ragsdale, E K Easton, 1986. " An Anchoring and Adjustment Model of Spousal Predictions," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 25-37, June.
  5. West, Patricia M, 1996. " Predicting Preferences: An Examination of Agent Learning," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 68-80, June.
  6. Jean-Robert Tyran, 2002. "Voting when Money and Morals Conflict - An Experimental Test of Expressive Voting," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-07, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
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