Does Party Competition Affect Political Activism?

72 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2020

See all articles by Anselm Hager

Anselm Hager

University of Oxford

Johannes Hermle

University of Bonn

Lukas Hensel

University of Oxford

Christopher Roth

University of Warwick, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Economics, Students

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Does party competition affect political activism? This paper studies the decision of party supporters to join political campaigns. We present a framework that incorporates supporters' instrumental and expressive motives and illustrates that party competition can either increase or decrease party activism. To distinguish between these competing predictions, we implemented a field experiment with a European party during a national election. In a seemingly unrelated party survey, we randomly assigned 1,417 party supporters to true information that the canvassing activity of the main competitor party was exceptionally high. Using unobtrusive, real-time data on party supporters' canvassing behavior, we find that treated respondents are 30 percent less likely to go canvassing. To investigate the causal mechanism, we leverage additional survey evidence collected two months after the campaign. Consistent with affective accounts of political activism, we show that increased competition lowered party supporters' political self-efficacy, which plausibly led them to remain inactive.

Suggested Citation

Hager, Anselm and Hermle, Johannes and Hensel, Lukas and Roth, Christopher, Does Party Competition Affect Political Activism? (2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8431, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3653956 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3653956

Anselm Hager (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Johannes Hermle

University of Bonn ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Lukas Hensel

University of Oxford ( email )

South Parks Road
Oxford, OX1 3QZ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/lukashenseleconomics

Christopher Roth

University of Warwick, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
53
Abstract Views
467
Rank
708,541
PlumX Metrics