The Ballot Order Effect is Huge: Evidence from Texas
41 Pages Posted: 10 May 2016 Last revised: 6 Oct 2016
Date Written: May 9, 2016
Texas primary and runoff elections provide an ideal test of the ballot order hypothesis, because ballot order is randomized within each county and there are many counties and contests to analyze. Doing so for all statewide offices contested in the 2014 Democratic and Republican primaries and runoffs yields precise estimates of the ballot order effect across twenty-four different contests. Except for a few high-profile, high-information races, the ballot order effect is large, especially in down-ballot races and judicial positions. In these, going from last to first on the ballot raises a candidate’s vote share by nearly ten percentage points.
Keywords: ballot order; voting; behavioral economics
JEL Classification: D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation