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The Cost of a Divided America: An Experimental Study Into Destructive Behavior

Wladislaw Mill () and John Morgan

CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series from University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany

Abstract: Does the polarization in the US lead to dysfunctional behavior? To study this question, we investigate the attitudes of supporters of Donald Trump and of Hillary Clinton towards each other and how these attitudes affect spiteful behavior. We find that both Trump and Clinton supporters have less positive attitudes towards the opposing supporters compared to coinciding supporters. More importantly, we show that significantly more wealth is destroyed if the opponent is an opposing voter. Surprisingly, this effect is mainly found for Clinton voters. This provides the first experimental evidence that the divide in the nation leads to destructive behavior.

Keywords: Spite; Voting; Experiment; Hillary Clinton; Donald Trump (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D01 D62 D72 D74 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 72
Date: 2020-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-exp and nep-pol
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