Communication Among Voters Benefits the Majority Party
The Economic Journal, Volume 129, Issue 618, 1 February 2019, Pages 961–990
66 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2017 Last revised: 22 Feb 2019
Date Written: September 11, 2017
How does communication among voters affect turnout? In a laboratory experiment, subjects, divided into two competing parties, choose between costly voting and abstaining. Pre-play communication treatments, relative to the No Communication control, are Public Communication (subjects exchange public messages through computers) and Party Communication (messages are public within one's own party). Communication benefits the majority party by increasing its turnout margin, hence its winning probability. Party communication increases turnout; public communication decreases total turnout with a low voting cost. With communication, there is no support for Nash equilibrium and limited consistency with correlated equilibrium.
Keywords: voter turnout, pre-play communication, lab experiment, correlated equilibrium
JEL Classification: C72, C92, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation