Framing Environmental Ballot, Propositions: The Influence of Simultaneous 'Pocketbook Measures' and Negative Framing

University of St. Gallen Working Paper No. 2001-05

45 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2001

Date Written: April 2001

Abstract

According to the theory of "expressive voting", the individual gives more weight to her "warm-glow" preferences for a public good than to her instrumental interests when casting a vote rather than deciding in a market environment. Even so, these expressive preferences can be moderated since they are subject to (unintentional) framing. Such framing occurs if the policy measure bears a negative connotation with respect to the provision of the public good (negative frame) or if a monetary stimulus is caused by any other measure on the ballot (pocketbook-effect). In this paper, I estimate regressions for voting against the improvement of environmental policy in California based on highly aggregated data between 1970 and 1998. The results give cause for the supposition that a pocketbook effect is born by measures that increase prices and general taxes and attract high campaign spending. Furthermore, a negative frame is effective only if it is accompanied by one-sided negative spending.

Keywords: Voting Behavior, Warm-Glow Preferences, Decision Framing, Environmental Public Goods

JEL Classification: D72, H49

Suggested Citation

Schulz, Tobias, Framing Environmental Ballot, Propositions: The Influence of Simultaneous 'Pocketbook Measures' and Negative Framing (April 2001). University of St. Gallen Working Paper No. 2001-05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=274826 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.274826

Tobias Schulz (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Varnbuelstr. 14
Saint Gallen, St. Gallen CH-9000
Switzerland

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