Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/108815
Authors: 
Meya, Johannes
Poutvaara, Panu
Schwager, Robert
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 5267
Abstract: 
We study the role of self-interest and social preferences in referenda. Our analysis is based on collective purchasing decisions of university students on deep-discount flat rate tickets for public transportation and culture. Individual usage data allows quantifying monetary benefits associated with each ticket. We find that turnout is much higher among students who benefit a lot from having a ticket, suggesting instrumental voting. In each referendum, a majority votes in line with self-interest, providing strong evidence for pocketbook voting. However, social preferences like altruism, public good considerations and paternalism shift the vote of a sizable minority against their own financial interest.
Subjects: 
pocketbook voting
social preferences
altruism
instrumental voting
public goods
referendum
JEL: 
D72
H41
D64
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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