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Erwartungsbildung über den Wahlausgang und ihr Einfluss auf die Wahlentscheidung

Sascha Huber (), Thomas Gschwend (), Michael F. Meffert () and Franz Urban Pappi ()
Additional contact information
Sascha Huber: Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Postal: L 13, 15, D-68131 Mannheim
Michael F. Meffert: Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Postal: L 13, 15, D-68131 Mannheim
Franz Urban Pappi: Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Postal: L 13, 15, D-68131 Mannheim

No 08-01, Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications from Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim

Abstract: Expectations about the outcome of elections play an important role in both rational choice and social psychological theories of voting. So far, however, there is not much research on the formation of expectations and their influence on voting behavior. In this paper, we use election studies from Belgium, Austria, and Germany to address several questions about the formation and effects of expectations. First, we investigate the quality of the overall expectations and identify several factors that systematically influence the formation of expectations. In a second step, we turn to individual expectations for parties and coalitions and find a moderate bias in favor of preferred parties and coalitions. We show that the effect of wishful thinking decreases with higher levels of political knowledge and education. Finally, we test two different mechanisms how expectations can affect voting behavior, the rational decision of strategic coalition voting to avoid casting a wasted vote and the social psychological bandwagon effect. Both effects are supported and political knowledge appears to be a crucial moderator between these two mechanisms.

Pages: 27 pages
Date: 2008-01-30
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm
Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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