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Communication Among Voters Benefits the Majority Party

Thomas R Palfrey and Kirill Pogorelskiy

Economic Journal, 2019, vol. 129, issue 618, 961-990

Abstract: How does communication among voters affect turnout? In a laboratory experiment, subjects, divided into two competing parties, choose between costly voting and abstaining. Pre-play communication treatments, relative to the no communication control, are public communication (subjects exchange public messages through computers) and party communication (messages are public within one's own party). Communication benefits the majority party by increasing its turnout margin, hence its winning probability. Party communication increases turnout; public communication decreases total turnout with a low voting cost. With communication, there is no support for Nash equilibrium and limited consistency with correlated equilibrium.

Date: 2019
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