Elections under Biased Candidate Endorsements — An Experimental Study

71 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2020 Last revised: 22 Oct 2020

See all articles by Junze Sun

Junze Sun

European University Institute

Arthur J. H. C. Schram

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB); Tinbergen Institute

Randolph Sloof

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics & Business (FEB); Tinbergen Institute

Date Written: October 1, 2020

Abstract

We construct an election game to study the electoral impacts of biased candidate endorsements. We derive a set of testable predictions. We test these in a laboratory experiment and find that observed election outcomes and vote shares are well predicted. We find no support, however, for our prediction that the relationship between election outcome and the endorser’s bias is nonmonotonic; i.e., ex ante, a candidate’s winning probability will first increase and then decrease as the endorser becomes more biased towards her. Voter turnout is much less responsive to the bias than predicted. We argue that observed voting behavior can be explained, to a substantial extent, by three behavioral mechanisms: (a) distinct levels of rationality for candidate choice and turnout decisions, (b) conservative belief updating, and (c) ’partial competition neglect’, where voters underestimate the correlation between the information released by an endorsement and the closeness of elections.

Keywords: biased endorsements, voting, turnout, quantal response equilibrium, experiments

JEL Classification: C92, D72, D83

Suggested Citation

Sun, Junze and Schram, Arthur J. H. C. and Sloof, Randolph, Elections under Biased Candidate Endorsements — An Experimental Study (October 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3538831 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3538831

Junze Sun (Contact Author)

European University Institute ( email )

Villa Schifanoia
133 via Bocaccio
Firenze (Florence), Tuscany 50014
Italy

Arthur J. H. C. Schram

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 18
CREED
Amsterdam 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 (0)20 525 4293 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.fee.uva.nl/creed/PEOPLE/Arthurs.htm

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Randolph Sloof

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics & Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 5241 (Phone)
+31 20 525 4310 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
60
Abstract Views
337
rank
399,586
PlumX Metrics