What makes voters turn out: the effects of polls and beliefs
We use laboratory experiments to test for one of the foundations of the rational voter paradigm - that voters respond to probabilities of being pivotal. We exploit a setup that entails stark theoretical effects of information concerning the preference distribution (as revealed through polls) on costly participation decisions. The data reveal several insights. First, voting propensity increases systematically with subjects' predictions of their preferred alternative's advantage. Consequently, pre-election polls do not exhibit the detrimental welfare effects that extant theoretical work predicts. They lead to more participation by the expected majority and generate more landslide elections. Finally, we investigate subjects' behavior in polls and identify when Bandwagon and Underdog Effects arise.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Schönberggasse 1, CH-8001 Zürich|
Phone: +41-1-634 21 37
Fax: +41-1-634 49 82
Web page: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/
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.:
- Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983.
"A strategic calculus of voting,"
Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
- Tilman Borgers, 2004.
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
- Manfred Gartner, 1976. "Endogenous bandwagon and underdog effects in a rational choice model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 83-89, March.
- Taylor, Curtis & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2005. "Public Information and Electoral Bias," Working Papers 05-11, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- 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.
- Gerardi, Dino & Yariv, Leeat, 2007. "Deliberative voting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 317-338, May.
- Steven Callander, 2007. "Bandwagons and Momentum in Sequential Voting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 653-684.
- Vai-Lam Mui & Timothy N. Cason, 2004.
"Uncertainty and Resistance to Reform in Laboratory Participation Games,"
Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings
1, Econometric Society.
- Cason, Timothy N. & Mui, Vai-Lam, 2005. "Uncertainty and resistance to reform in laboratory participation games," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 708-737, September.
- Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998.
"The Theory of Learning in Games,"
MIT Press Books,
The MIT Press,
edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061945.
- Jacob K. Goeree & Leeat Yariv, 2011. "An Experimental Study of Collective Deliberation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 893-921, 05.
- Callander, Steven, 2008. "Majority rule when voters like to win," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 393-420, November.
- Melis Kartal, 2015. "Laboratory elections with endogenous turnout: proportional representation versus majoritarian rule," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(3), pages 366-384, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:067. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marita Kieser)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.