Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/77496
Authors: 
Agranov, Marina
Goeree, Jacob K.
Romero, Julian
Yariv, Leeat
Year of Publication: 
2012
Series/Report no.: 
Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Zurich 67
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.
Subjects: 
Collective Choice
Polls
Strategic Voting
JEL: 
C92
D02
D72
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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