Voter Motivation and the Quality of Democratic Choice

Author(s)
Lydia Mechtenberg, Jean-Robert Tyran
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.

Organisation(s)
Vienna Center for Experimental Economics, Department of Economics
External organisation(s)
Universität Hamburg, University of Copenhagen, Centre for Economic and Policy Research
Journal
Games and Economic Behavior
Volume
116
Pages
241-259
ISSN
0899-8256
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geb.2018.12.002
Publication date
01-2019
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
Political economy, Behavioural economics
Keywords
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/voter-motivation-and-the-quality-of-democratic-choice(f87b7e45-ecf2-4d15-aeb6-05b8620765f6).html