Voters, Dictators, and Peons: Expressive Voting and Pivotality
32 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2010 Last revised: 3 Jun 2014
Date Written: May 1, 2010
Why do the poor vote against redistribution? We experimentally examine one explanation, namely that individuals gain direct expressive utility from voting in accordance with their ideology and understand they are unlikely to be pivotal; hence, their expressive utility, even if arbitrarily small, entirely determines their voting behavior. In contrast with a basic prediction of this explanation, we find that the probability of being pivotal does not affect the impact of monetary interest on whether a subject votes for redistribution.
Keywords: redistribution, ideology, expressive voting
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