Social Preferences and Political Participation

34 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2007

See all articles by Christopher T. Dawes

Christopher T. Dawes

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science

James H. Fowler

UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences; UC San Diego School of Medicine

Date Written: February 14, 2007

Abstract

Models of political participation have begun to incorporate actors who possess "social preferences". However, these models have failed to take into account the potentially incongruent political goals of different social preference types. These goals are likely to play an important role in shaping political behavior. To examine the effect of distinct social preferences on political activity we conducted an experiment in which participants played five rounds of a modified dictator game (Andreoni and Miller 2002). We used the decisions in these games to determine their preference type and mapped these types to reported political activity. Our results show that subjects who were most interested in increasing total welfare in the dictator game were more likely to participate in politics than subjects with selfish preferences, whereas subjects most interested in reducing the difference between their own well-being and the well-being of others were no more likely to.

Suggested Citation

Dawes, Christopher T. and Fowler, James H., Social Preferences and Political Participation (February 14, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1008205 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1008205

Christopher T. Dawes (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://dss.ucsd.edu/~cdawes/

James H. Fowler

UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu

UC San Diego School of Medicine ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
134
Abstract Views
904
rank
214,302
PlumX Metrics