Exit polls, turnout, and bandwagon voting: Evidence from a natural experiment

Rebecca B. Morton, Daniel Muller, Lionel Page, Benno Torgler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We exploit a voting reform in France to estimate the causal effect of exit poll information on turnout and bandwagon voting. Before the change in legislation, individuals in some French overseas territories voted after the election result had already been made public via exit poll information from mainland France. We estimate that knowing the exit poll information decreases voter turnout by about 11 percentage points. Our study is the first clean empirical design outside of the laboratory to demonstrate the effect of such knowledge on voter turnout. Furthermore, we find that exit poll information significantly increases bandwagon voting; that is, voters who choose to turn out are more likely to vote for the expected winner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-81
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Volume77
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Fingerprint

Natural experiment
Exit
Bandwagon
Voting
Turnout
Polls
Voter turnout
France
Legislation
Vote
Elections
Causal effect
Voters

Keywords

  • Elections
  • Information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Finance

Cite this

Exit polls, turnout, and bandwagon voting : Evidence from a natural experiment. / Morton, Rebecca B.; Muller, Daniel; Page, Lionel; Torgler, Benno.

In: European Economic Review, Vol. 77, 01.07.2015, p. 65-81.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Morton, Rebecca B. ; Muller, Daniel ; Page, Lionel ; Torgler, Benno. / Exit polls, turnout, and bandwagon voting : Evidence from a natural experiment. In: European Economic Review. 2015 ; Vol. 77. pp. 65-81.
@article{9f7124558a6e43f5aadaaafcb5002721,
title = "Exit polls, turnout, and bandwagon voting: Evidence from a natural experiment",
abstract = "We exploit a voting reform in France to estimate the causal effect of exit poll information on turnout and bandwagon voting. Before the change in legislation, individuals in some French overseas territories voted after the election result had already been made public via exit poll information from mainland France. We estimate that knowing the exit poll information decreases voter turnout by about 11 percentage points. Our study is the first clean empirical design outside of the laboratory to demonstrate the effect of such knowledge on voter turnout. Furthermore, we find that exit poll information significantly increases bandwagon voting; that is, voters who choose to turn out are more likely to vote for the expected winner.",
keywords = "Elections, Information",
author = "Morton, {Rebecca B.} and Daniel Muller and Lionel Page and Benno Torgler",
year = "2015",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.euroecorev.2015.03.012",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "77",
pages = "65--81",
journal = "European Economic Review",
issn = "0014-2921",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exit polls, turnout, and bandwagon voting

T2 - Evidence from a natural experiment

AU - Morton, Rebecca B.

AU - Muller, Daniel

AU - Page, Lionel

AU - Torgler, Benno

PY - 2015/7/1

Y1 - 2015/7/1

N2 - We exploit a voting reform in France to estimate the causal effect of exit poll information on turnout and bandwagon voting. Before the change in legislation, individuals in some French overseas territories voted after the election result had already been made public via exit poll information from mainland France. We estimate that knowing the exit poll information decreases voter turnout by about 11 percentage points. Our study is the first clean empirical design outside of the laboratory to demonstrate the effect of such knowledge on voter turnout. Furthermore, we find that exit poll information significantly increases bandwagon voting; that is, voters who choose to turn out are more likely to vote for the expected winner.

AB - We exploit a voting reform in France to estimate the causal effect of exit poll information on turnout and bandwagon voting. Before the change in legislation, individuals in some French overseas territories voted after the election result had already been made public via exit poll information from mainland France. We estimate that knowing the exit poll information decreases voter turnout by about 11 percentage points. Our study is the first clean empirical design outside of the laboratory to demonstrate the effect of such knowledge on voter turnout. Furthermore, we find that exit poll information significantly increases bandwagon voting; that is, voters who choose to turn out are more likely to vote for the expected winner.

KW - Elections

KW - Information

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84928914347&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84928914347&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2015.03.012

DO - 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2015.03.012

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84928914347

VL - 77

SP - 65

EP - 81

JO - European Economic Review

JF - European Economic Review

SN - 0014-2921

ER -