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Strategic voting and happiness

Francesca Acacia () and Maria Cubel
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Francesca Acacia: University of Edinburgh

No 2013/19, Working Papers from Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB)

Abstract: In this paper we extend the research on happiness and spatial theory of voting by exploring whether strategic and sincere voting affect subjective well-being. We conduct the analysis with data on a large sample of individuals over 50 elections in 16 OECD countries. The results of the analysis show the existence of a negative effect of strategic voting on subjective well-being. In addition, the likelihood of being satisfied decreases when individuals vote strategically for a political party that wins the electoral race. Furthermore, when we analyse separately left-wing and right-wing voters, we find that the described effect holds for left-wing voters but no for right-wing voters. We discuss this evidence in the light of expressive voting theory (Hilman, 2010) and lack of empathy with future selves (Kahneman and Thaler, 1991). Our results are robust to different measures of strategic voting and subjective well-being.

Keywords: Happiness; life satisfaction; strategic voting; political ideology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 D72 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2013
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Chapter: Strategic voting and happiness (2014) Downloads
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