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Rain, emotions and voting for the status quo

Armando Meier (), Lukas Schmid and Alois Stutzer ()

European Economic Review, 2019, vol. 119, issue C, 434-451

Abstract: Do emotions affect the decision between change and the status quo? We exploit exogenous variation in emotions caused by rain and analyze data on more than 870,000 municipal vote outcomes in Switzerland to address this question. The empirical tests are based on administrative ballot outcomes and individual postvote survey data. We find that rain decreases the share of votes for political change. Our robustness checks suggest that this finding is not driven by changes in the composition of the electorate and changes in information acquisition. In addition, we provide evidence that rain might have altered the outcome of several high-stake votes. We discuss the psychological mechanism and document that rain reduces the willingness to take risks, a pattern that is consistent with the observed reduction in the support for change.

Keywords: Emotions; Voting; Status quo; Risk aversion; Rain; Direct democracy; Turnout (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D01 D02 D72 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Working Paper: Rain, Emotions and Voting for the Status Quo (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Rain, Emotions and Voting for the Status Quo (2016) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:119:y:2019:i:c:p:434-451

DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2019.07.014

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European Economic Review is currently edited by T.S. Eicher, A. Imrohoroglu, E. Leeper, J. Oechssler and M. Pesendorfer

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