Economics of Voting
Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (PDT)
- Chair: Ethan Kaplan, University of Maryland
Immigration and Anti-Immigrant Voting in the 2017 German Parliamentary Election
AbstractWe empirically examine the relationship between shares of foreigners and shares of votes cast for the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), the major anti-immigrant party in the 2017 German parliamentary election. The classic theory on the political economy of migration supposes that immigration fosters opposing sentiments among the natives due to fiercer competition for jobs, housing and public goods. Notably, the vote distribution in the 2017 election suggests that AfD vote shares are higher in districts with fewer foreign inhabitants. We exploit administrative data on election results and district-specific features to study a potentially different effect in West and East Germany. Our results for East Germany corroborate the Contact Theory, which states that more intensive exposure to immigration reduces the propensity to anti-immigrant voting. A 10~percentage point increase in the share of foreigners is associated with a 6.3~percentage point decrease in the AfD vote share. By contrast, the contact effect for West Germany is only weak. Additionally, we find evidence for economic competition with above-average unemployment adding to AfD support in both East and West Germany.
Monetary Incentives to Vote: Evidence from a Nationwide Policy
AbstractWe study voters' response to marginal changes to the fine for electoral abstention in Peru. A smaller fine lowers voter turnout, but the effect of an exemption from compulsory voting is five times larger than that of a full fine reduction, suggesting that non-monetary incentives are the most relevant aspect of compulsory voting. We show that informational frictions limit adaptation to large-scale regulatory changes, causing our elasticity estimates to be substantially smaller than previous experimental estimates in the same setting. We find a negligible impact on representation, as 86% of the extra votes caused by a larger fine are blank or invalid.
Electoral Competition, Voter Bias and Women in Politics
AbstractWe quantify the implications of voter bias and electoral competition for politicians'
gender composition. Unfavorable voters' attitudes towards women and local gender
earnings gap correlate negatively with the share of female candidates in Parliamentary
elections. Using within-candidate variation across the different polling stations of an
electoral district in a given election year, we find that female candidates obtain fewer
votes in municipalities with higher gender earnings gaps. We show theoretically that
when voters are biased against women, parties facing gender quotas select male candidates in the most contestable districts. We find empirical support for such a strategic party response to voter gender bias. Simulating our calibrated model confirms that competition significantly hinders the effectiveness of gender quotas.
Voting for the Underdog or Jumping on the Bandwagon? Evidence from India's Exit Poll Ban
AbstractExit poll surveys during elections are conducted to predict the outcome of the
actual elections. However, such polls have historically been controversial, particularly
for multi-phase elections, as they could potentially influence the behavior of voters in
the latter rounds of voting. If subsequent voters are likelier to vote for the predicted
frontrunner, it is known as the bandwagon voting phenomenon whereas if they vote
for the predicted trailing candidate, the phenomenon is known as underdog voting. To
avoid such issues, in 2009 the election administration in the world's largest democracy
(India) had introduced a blanket ban on exit polls being published in the media until
all rounds of an election are completed. Exploiting the potentially exogenous timing
of this reform and using administrative data to compare states which went to elections
before and after this ban, we find that in response to the policy, vote share increases
for the front-runner and decreases for others. This implies that in the counterfactual,
without the ban, less people would have voted for the front-runner. This is suggestive
evidence of underdog voting. We also find evidence that elections are usually closer in
the presence of exit polls.
- D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making