Electoral Fraud and Voter Turnout

53 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2015 Last revised: 5 Apr 2016

Vardan Baghdasaryan

American University of Armenia

Giovanna Iannantuoni

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Economics; Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS)

Valeria Maggian

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE)

Date Written: February 8, 2016

Abstract

In this paper we experimentally investigate the consequences of electoral fraud on voter turnout. The experiment is based on a strategic binary voting model where voters decide whether to cast a costly vote in favour of their preferred candidate or to abstain. Minority candidate can illicitly influence the electoral process by applying ballot-box stuffing. In the experiment we implement two different framings: we compare voter turnout in a neutral environment and with framed instructions to explicitly replicate elections. This approach enables to both test the model's predictions and to estimate framing effects of voting and fraud. Comparison of experimental results with theoretical predictions reveals over-voting, which is exacerbated when fraud occurs. Moreover, turnout increases with moderate level of fraud. However, when considering higher electoral fraud, theoretical predictions are not matched. Voters fail to recognize that the existence of a relatively larger number of "agents" voting with certainty considerably decreases the benefits of voting.

Importantly, framing matters, as revealed by the higher turnout of those in the majority group, against which the fraud is applied. Finally, individual level regression analysis provides evidences of strategic voting.

Keywords: Laboratory experiment, Framing, Voting, Ballot rigging and Voter turnout

JEL Classification: D72, C52, C91, C92

Suggested Citation

Baghdasaryan, Vardan and Iannantuoni, Giovanna and Maggian, Valeria, Electoral Fraud and Voter Turnout (February 8, 2016). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 315. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2696203 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2696203

Vardan Baghdasaryan

American University of Armenia ( email )

40, Baghramyan Ave.
Yerevan, 0019
United States

Giovanna Iannantuoni (Contact Author)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Economics ( email )

Calle Madrid 126
Getafe, 28903
Spain

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Valeria Maggian

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE) ( email )

93, Chemin des Mouilles
Ecully, Lyon 69130
France

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/vmaggian/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
60
rank
325,779
Abstract Views
420
PlumX