Voter Motivation and the Quality of Democratic Choice

Lydia Mechtenberg, Jean-Robert Tyran

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed

Abstract

The efficiency of committee voting and referenda with common-interest issues critically depends on voter motivation, i.e., on voters' willingness to cast an informed vote. If voters are motivated, voting may result in smart choices because of information aggregation but if voters remain ignorant, delegating decision making to an expert may yield better outcomes. We experimentally study a common-interest situation in which we vary voters' information cost and the competence of the expert. We find that voters are more motivated to collect information than predicted by standard theory and that voter motivation is higher when subjects demand to make choices by voting than when voting is imposed on subjects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-259
Number of pages19
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
Volume116
Early online date17 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 502045 Behavioural economics
  • 502027 Political economy

Keywords

  • voting experiment
  • information acquisition
  • information aggregation
  • Information aggregation
  • Voting
  • Information acquisition
  • Experiment
  • INFORMATION AGGREGATION
  • CURSE
  • DILEMMA
  • PARTICIPATION
  • TURNOUT

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