UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

What makes voters turn out: the effects of polls and beliefs


Agranov, Marina; Goeree, Jacob K; Romero, Julian; Yariv, Leeat (2012). What makes voters turn out: the effects of polls and beliefs. Working paper series / Department of Economics 67, University of Zurich.

Abstract

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.

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.

Downloads

998 downloads since deposited on 27 Mar 2012
12 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:C92, D02, D72
Uncontrolled Keywords:Collective choice, polls, strategic voting
Language:English
Date:March 2012
Deposited On:27 Mar 2012 12:36
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:46
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:31
ISSN:1664-7041
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp067.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/workingpapers.php
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-61527

Download

[img]
Preview
Filetype: PDF
Size: 617kB

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations