Counting on My Vote Not Counting: Expressive Voting in Committees
66 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2020
Date Written: July 14, 2020
A committee chooses whether to approve a proposal that some members may consider ethical. Members who vote for the proposal receive expressive utility, and all pay a cost if the proposal is accepted. Committee members have different depths of reasoning. The model predicts that features that reduce the probability of being pivotal - namely, larger committee size, or a more restrictive voting rule - raise the share of votes for the proposal. A laboratory experiment with a charitable donation framing supports these results. Our structural estimation recovers the distributions of altruistic and expressive preferences, and of depth of reasoning, across individuals.
Keywords: expressive voting, committees, pivotality, laboratory experiment, level-k, structural estimation
JEL Classification: C57, C72, C92, D71, D91
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