Referenda Outcomes and the Influence of Polls: A Social Network Feedback Process
FEUNL Working Paper Series No. 578
43 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 15, 2013
This paper proposes a model to explain the differences between outcomes of referenda and the voting trends suggested by polls. Two main effects are at stake. First, the evolution of the voters' attitudes is conditional on the public information made available to them. Second, the predisposition toward abstention among individuals within each voting group may be different. Our model describes how these two aspects of decision making may interact, showing how publicly available information may amplify the distinct tendency toward abstention between both groups and thus affect the outcome of the referendum.
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