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Voting as a Signaling Device

R. Emre Aytimur (), Aristotelis Boukouras and Robert Schwager
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Aristotelis Boukouras: Georg-August-University Göttingen
Robert Schwager: Georg-August-University Göttingen

No 108, Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers from Courant Research Centre PEG

Abstract: In this paper, citizens vote in order to influence the election outcome and in order to signal their unobserved characteristics to others. The model is one of rational voting and generates the following predictions: (i) The paradox of not voting does not arise, because the benefi t of voting does not vanish with population size. (ii) Turnout in elections is positively related to the size of the local community and the importance of social interactions. (iii) Voting may exhibit bandwagon e ffects and small changes in the electoral incentives may generate large changes in turnout due to signaling effects. (iv) Signaling incentives increase the sensitivity of turnout to voting incentives in communities with low opportunity cost of social interaction, while the opposite is true for communities with high cost of social interaction. Therefore, the model predicts less volatile turnout for the latter type of communities.

Keywords: electoral incentives; signaling; voting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C70 D72 D80 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-01-26
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-cta and nep-pol
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Related works:
Journal Article: Voting as a signaling device (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Voting as a Signaling Device (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Voting as a Signaling Device (2012) Downloads
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