Pocketbook Voting and Social Preferences in Referenda

46 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2015

See all articles by Johannes Meya

Johannes Meya

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Panu Poutvaara

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics; ifo Institut - Leibniz-Institut fuer Wirtschaftsforschung an der Universitaet Muenchen e.V.; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); CReAM; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Robert Schwager

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Date Written: March 31, 2015

Abstract

We study the role of self-interest and social preferences in referenda. Our analysis is based on collective purchasing decisions of university students on deep-discount flat rate tickets for public transportation and culture. Individual usage data allows quantifying monetary benefits associated with each ticket. We find that turnout is much higher among students who benefit a lot from having a ticket, suggesting instrumental voting. In each referendum, a majority votes in line with self-interest, providing strong evidence for pocketbook voting. However, social preferences like altruism, public good considerations and paternalism shift the vote of a sizable minority against their own financial interest.

Keywords: pocketbook voting, social preferences, altruism, instrumental voting, public goods, referendum

JEL Classification: D720, H410, D640

Suggested Citation

Meya, Johannes and Poutvaara, Panu and Schwager, Robert, Pocketbook Voting and Social Preferences in Referenda (March 31, 2015). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5267, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2592338 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2592338

Johannes Meya

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Panu Poutvaara (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iiv.vwl.uni-muenchen.de/index.html

ifo Institut - Leibniz-Institut fuer Wirtschaftsforschung an der Universitaet Muenchen e.V. ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany
00498992241372 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.ifo.de/poutvaara-p

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

CReAM ( email )

Drayton House
30 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AX
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=1501

Robert Schwager

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
236
Abstract Views
860
rank
183,889
PlumX Metrics