Voter Motivation and the Quality of Democratic Choice

38 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2016

See all articles by Lydia Mechtenberg

Lydia Mechtenberg

University of Hamburg

Jean-Robert Tyran

University of Vienna; University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 15, 2016

Abstract

The quality of democratic choice critically depends on voter motivation, i.e. on voters’ willingness to cast an informed vote. If voters are motivated, voting may result in smart choices because of information aggregation but if voters remain ignorant, delegating decision making to an expert may yield better outcomes. We experimentally study a common interest situation in which we vary voters’ information cost and the competence of the expert. We find that voters are more motivated to collect information than predicted by standard theory and that voter motivation is higher when subjects demand to make choices by voting than when voting is imposed on subjects.

Keywords: voting, experiment, information acquisition, information aggregation

JEL Classification: C91, D71, D72

Suggested Citation

Mechtenberg, Lydia and Tyran, Jean-Robert, Voter Motivation and the Quality of Democratic Choice (November 15, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2869787 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2869787

Lydia Mechtenberg

University of Hamburg ( email )

Allende-Platz 1
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

Jean-Robert Tyran (Contact Author)

University of Vienna ( email )

Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1
Vienna, Vienna 1090
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://homepage.univie.ac.at/jean-robert.tyran/

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark
+45 353 23 027 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ku.dk/tyran/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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