Why Votes Have a Value

51 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2007 Last revised: 19 Dec 2010

See all articles by Ingolf Dittmann

Ingolf Dittmann

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE); Tinbergen Institute; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Ernst G. Maug

University of Mannheim Business School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Dorothea Kübler

Social Science Research Center (WZB); Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) - Faculty of Economics and Management

Lydia Mechtenberg

Technical University of Berlin

Date Written: December 11, 2010

Abstract

We perform an experiment where subjects bid for the right to participate in a vote and where the theoretical value of the voting right is zero if subjects are fully rational. We find that experimental subjects are willing to pay for the right to vote and that they do so for instrumental reasons. A model of instrumental voting behavior is consistent with our results if individuals are overconfident, overestimate the errors of other players, and also overestimate how often they themselves are pivotal for the outcome. Eliciting beliefs about pivotality shows that individuals value the right to vote more, the more they overestimate their probability of being pivotal. Eliciting beliefs about pivotality reduces the willingness to pay for the right to vote.

Keywords: Voting, dual-class shares, paradox of voting, experimental economics, instrumental voting, expressive voting

JEL Classification: C92, D72, G32

Suggested Citation

Dittmann, Ingolf and Maug, Ernst G. and Kübler, Dorothea F. and Mechtenberg, Lydia, Why Votes Have a Value (December 11, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1074803 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1074803

Ingolf Dittmann (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands
+31 10 4081283 (Phone)
+31 10 4089165 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://people.few.eur.nl/dittmann/

Tinbergen Institute

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Ernst G. Maug

University of Mannheim Business School ( email )

L9, 1-2
Mannheim, 68131
Germany
+49 621 181-1952 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://cf.bwl.uni-mannheim.de/de/people/maug/

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Dorothea F. Kübler

Social Science Research Center (WZB) ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785
Germany
40 30 25491440 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wzb.eu/mp/vam/people/dorothea_kuebler.de.htm

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) - Faculty of Economics and Management ( email )

D-10623 Berlin
Germany
+49 30 31425263 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wiwi-experimente.tu-berlin.de/

Lydia Mechtenberg

Technical University of Berlin ( email )

Straße des 17
Juni 135
Berlin, 10623
Germany

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