Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/113120
Authors: 
Meya, Johannes
Poutvaara, Panu
Schwager, Robert
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2015: Ökonomische Entwicklung - Theorie und Politik - Session: Political Economy III C21-V2
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 sizeable minority against their own financial interest.
JEL: 
D72
H41
D64
Document Type: 
Conference Paper

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