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Abstention by Loss-Averse Voters

Kohei Daido () and Tomoya Tajika ()
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Tomoya Tajika: Department of Law and Economics, Hokusei Gakuen University

No 205, Discussion Paper Series from School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University

Abstract: This paper builds a two-candidate election model, in which voters are loss averse and face uncertainty about whether their preferred candidate is supported by a majority. Even without costs for voting, abstention may occur when voters have expectations-based reference-dependent preferences, as in KÅ‘szegi and Rabin (2006, 2007). The model shows that loss aversion leads to the equilibrium in which abstention is more likely as an election becomes more competitive and the abstention rate of voters who prefer a minority candidate is higher than for those who prefer a majority candidate.

Keywords: Abstention; Expectations-Based Reference-Dependent Preferences; Loss Aversion; Voting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 19 pages
Date: 2020-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-mic, nep-pol and nep-upt
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