Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1460940
 


 



Deception and Political Participation: Theory and Laboratory Evidence


Daniel Houser


George Mason University - Department of Economics

Sandra Ludwig


Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Thomas Stratmann


George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

August 2013

GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-27

Abstract:     
We model two-candidate elections in which 1) voters are uncertain about candidates' attributes; and 2) candidates can inform voters of their attributes by sending advertisements. We compare political campaigns with truthful advertising to campaigns in which there is a small chance of deceptive advertising. Our model predicts that voters should vote in-line with an advertisement’s information. We test our model’s predictions using laboratory elections. We find, in the presence of an even small probability that an advertisement is deceptive, voters become substantially more likely to elect a “low-quality” candidate. We discuss implications of this for existing models of voting decisions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 80

Keywords: voter information, turnout, participation in elections, campaign finance, deceptive advertising

JEL Classification: C91, C92, D72

working papers series


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Date posted: August 26, 2009 ; Last revised: November 5, 2013

Suggested Citation

Houser, Daniel and Ludwig, Sandra and Stratmann, Thomas, Deception and Political Participation: Theory and Laboratory Evidence (August 2013). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 12-27. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1460940 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1460940

Contact Information

Daniel Houser
George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
Sandra Ludwig
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München ( email )
Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany
Thomas Stratmann (Contact Author)
George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-2330 (Phone)
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )
124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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