Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/207105
Authors: 
Meier, Armando N.
Schmid, Lukas
Stutzer, Alois
Year of Publication: 
2019
Series/Report no.: 
WWZ Working Paper 2019/15
Abstract: 
Do emotions affect the decision between change and the status quo? We exploit exogenous variation in emotions caused by rain and analyze data on more than 870,000 municipal vote outcomes in Switzerland to address this question. The empirical tests are based on administrative ballot outcomes and individual postvote survey data. We find that rain decreases the share of votes for political change. Our robustness checks suggest that this finding is not driven by changes in the composition of the electorate and changes in information acquisition. In addition, we provide evidence that rain might have altered the outcome of several high-stake votes. We discuss the psychological mechanism and document that rain reduces the willingness to take risks, a pattern that is consistent with the observed reduction in the support for change.
Subjects: 
Emotions
voting
status quo
risk aversion
rain
direct democracy
turnout
JEL: 
D01
D02
D72
D91
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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