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Turned Off or Turned Out? Campaign Advertising,Information, and Voting

Daniel Houser (), Rebecca Morton () and Thomas Stratmann ()
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Omar Ahmad Al-Ubaydli ()

No 1005, Working Papers from George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science

Abstract: We present results from laboratory experimental elections in which voter information is endogenously provided by candidates and voting is voluntary. We also compare advertisements that are costless to voters with those that reduce voter payoffs. We fi?nd that informative advertisements increase voter participation and thus informative campaign advertising "turns out" voters. However, the effect of information is less than that found in previous experimental studies where information is exogenously provided by the experimenter. Furthermore, we find that when advertising by winning candidates reduces voter payoffs, informed voters are less likely to participate, thus are "turned off" rather than "turned out."Finally, we discover that candidates tend to over-advertise, and contrary to theoretical predictions, advertise significantly more when voting is voluntary than when it is compulsory.

Keywords: Voting; campaign finance; abstention; voter turnout; experiments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp and nep-soc
Date: 2008-07, Revised 2008-07
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Journal Article: Turned on or turned out? Campaign advertising, information and voting (2011) Downloads
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