Altruistic Punishment in Elections

27 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2014

See all articles by Jason Anthony Aimone

Jason Anthony Aimone

Baylor University - Department of Economics

Luigi Butera

Copenhagen Business School

Thomas Stratmann

George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy; George Mason University - Mercatus Center; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: August 21, 2014

Abstract

Altruistic punishment is a fundamental driver for cooperation in human interactions. In this paper, we expand our understanding of this form of costly punishment to help explain a puzzle of voting behavior: why do people who are indifferent between two potential policy outcomes of an election participate in large-scale elections when voting is costly? Using a simple voting experiment, we show that many voters are willing to engage in voting as a form of punishment, even when voting is costly and the voter has no monetary stake in the election outcome. In our sample, we observe that at least fourteen percent of individuals are willing to incur a cost and vote against candidates who broke their electoral promises, even when they have no pecuniary interest in the election outcome.

Keywords: voting, elections, altruistic punishment

JEL Classification: D73, D03, D63

Suggested Citation

Aimone, Jason Anthony and Butera, Luigi and Stratmann, Thomas, Altruistic Punishment in Elections (August 21, 2014). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4945, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2496907

Jason Anthony Aimone

Baylor University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 98003
Waco, TX 76798-8003
United States

Luigi Butera

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Denmark

Thomas Stratmann (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Buchanan Center Political Economy ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-2330 (Phone)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.mercatus.org/scholars/thomas-stratmann

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
58
Abstract Views
796
rank
399,156
PlumX Metrics