Attentiveness in Elections With Impressionable Voters

56 Pages Posted: 30 May 2019

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 6, 2019


We propose a model of attentiveness in elections with impressionable voters under various electoral rules. Voters' behavior is determined by their attentiveness and impressions of candidates. We show that attentiveness is as important as voters' preferences for the outcome of the election. Specifically, we show that candidates benefit from increased voter attention under all rules other than negative plurality. Second, less attentive voters have a larger impact on the election outcome under plurality and negative plurality rules, but not under approval voting. Third, under limited and endogenous attentiveness, a unanimously first-ranked candidate may not win under plurality and approval voting, but he always wins under negative plurality. We finally consider the case of tonality in news coverage and show that under plurality rule and approval voting candidates may benefit from frequent news coverage even if the news is negative.

Keywords: multi-candidate elections, adaptive behavioral voting, partial attentiveness

JEL Classification: D03, D72, D83

Suggested Citation

Andonie, Costel and Diermeier, Daniel, Attentiveness in Elections With Impressionable Voters (May 6, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Costel Andonie (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Daniel Diermeier

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

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