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
Journal
Games and Economic Behavior
ISSN
0899-8256
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geb.2018.12.002
Publication date
01-2019
Publication status
E-pub ahead of print
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
502027 Political economy, 502045 Behavioural economics
Keywords
HBE, Caa2
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/voter-motivation-and-the-quality-of-democratic-choice(f87b7e45-ecf2-4d15-aeb6-05b8620765f6).html