Self-Signaling in Moral Voting
36 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2021
Date Written: January 4, 2021
This paper presents a two-wave survey experiment on self-image concerns in moral voting. We elicit votes on the so-called Horncow Initiative. This initiative required subsidization of farmers who refrain from dehorning. We investigate how non-consequentialist and non-deontological messages changing the moral self-signaling value of a Yes vote affect selection and processing of consequentialist information, and reported voting behavior. We find that a message enhancing the self-signaling value of a Yes vote is effective: voters agree more with arguments in favor of the initiative, anticipate more frequently voting in favor, and report more frequently having voted in favor of the initiative.
Keywords: moral bias, voting, multi-wave field experiment, information avoidance
JEL Classification: C93, D72, D91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation