Rain, Emotions and Voting for the Status Quo

47 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2016

See all articles by Armando Meier

Armando Meier

University of Lausanne and University of Basel

Lukas Schmid

University of Lucerne

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Do emotions affect the decision between change and the status quo? We exploit exogenous variation in emotions caused by rain and analyze data on more than 400 ballot propositions in Switzerland for the years 1958 to 2014 to address this question. The empirical tests are based on administrative ballot outcomes and individual postvote survey data. We find that rain decreases the share of votes for a change. Our robustness checks suggest that changes in the composition of the electorate or changes in information acquisition do not drive this result. In addition, we provide evidence that rain might have altered the outcome of several high-stake votes. We discuss the psychological mechanism and document that rain reduces the willingness to take risks, a pattern that is consistent with the observed reduction in the support of change.

Keywords: emotions, voting, status quo, risk aversion, rain, direct democracy, turnout

JEL Classification: D03, D72

Suggested Citation

Meier, Armando and Schmid, Lukas and Stutzer, Alois, Rain, Emotions and Voting for the Status Quo. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2868316 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2868316

Armando Meier (Contact Author)

University of Lausanne and University of Basel ( email )

Lukas Schmid

University of Lucerne ( email )

Hofstrasse 9
P.O. Box 7464
Luzern 7, CH - 6000
Switzerland

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel ( email )

Faculty of Business and Economics
Peter Merian-Weg 6
4002 Basel
Switzerland
0041 61 207 3361 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wwz.unibas.ch/en/stutzer/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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