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Nudging the electorate: what works and why?

Felix Koelle, Tom Lane (), Daniele Nosenzo and Chris Starmer ()
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Felix Koelle: Department of Economics, University of Cologne

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Felix Kölle ()

No 2017-16, Discussion Papers from The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham

Abstract: We report two studies investigating whether, and if so how, different interventions affect voter registration rates. In a natural field experiment conducted before the 2015 UK General Election, we varied messages on a postcard sent by Oxford City Council to unregistered student voters encouraging them to register to vote. Relative to a baseline, emphasising negative monetary incentives (the possibility of being fined) significantly increased registration rates, while positive monetary incentives (chances of winning a lottery) had no significant effects. In the second study, we show that the success of the negative monetary incentive intervention and failure of the positive monetary incentive intervention can be partly explained by social norms.

Keywords: Voter Registration; Voting; Field Experiment; Nudging; Social Norms; Fines; Rewards (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-hrm, nep-pol and nep-soc
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