Voting as a Signaling Device

33 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2012

See all articles by R. Emre Aytimur

R. Emre Aytimur

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Aristotelis Boukouras

University of Leicester

Robert Schwager

Center for European Economic Research (ZEW); University of Magdeburg

Date Written: January 23, 2012

Abstract

In this paper, citizens vote in order to influence the election outcome and in order to signal their unobserved characteristics to others. The model is one of rational voting and generates the following predictions: (i) The paradox of not voting does not arise, because the benefit of voting does not vanish with population size. (ii) Turnout in elections is positively related to the size of the local community and the importance of social interactions. (iii) Voting may exhibit bandwagon effects and small changes in the electoral incentives may generate large changes in turnout due to signaling effects. (iv) Signaling incentives increase the sensitivity of turnout to voting incentives in communities with low opportunity cost of social interaction, while the opposite is true for communities with high cost of social interaction. Therefore, the model predicts that smaller communities have more volatile turnout than larger communities.

Keywords: electoral incentives, signaling, voting

JEL Classification: C70, D72, D80

Suggested Citation

Aytimur, R. Emre and Boukouras, Aristotelis and Schwager, Robert, Voting as a Signaling Device (January 23, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1990199 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1990199

R. Emre Aytimur

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3
Göttingen, 37073
Germany

Aristotelis Boukouras

University of Leicester ( email )

University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Robert Schwager (Contact Author)

Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1 D-68161 Mannheim
Germany
00 49 621 1235160 (Phone)
00 49 621 1235215 (Fax)

University of Magdeburg

Universitätspl. 2
PSF 4120
Magdeburg, D-39106
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
160
Abstract Views
1,015
rank
238,981
PlumX Metrics