Public Voting and Prosocial Behavior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

One argument against secret ballots is that such procedures lead to more selfish voting behavior and that public voting can increase prosocial voting and the likelihood of prosocial outcomes when voters are not subject to intimidation and coercion from outside interests. We investigate this supposition as well as voter preferences over observability in voting in this context. We find that voters are significantly more likely to choose unselfishly when voting is public. These differences in behavior advantage prosocial choices in elections (by 27%) when voting is public. Moreover, voters appear to recognize these differences and a substantial minority of voters whose selfish preference is not the prosocial choice willingly choose public voting even though the likely outcome will be costly to themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-158
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Political Science
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

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voting behavior
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Keywords

  • Laboratory experiment
  • observability
  • prosocial voting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Public Voting and Prosocial Behavior. / Morton, Rebecca B.; Ou, Kai.

In: Journal of Experimental Political Science, Vol. 6, No. 3, 01.12.2019, p. 141-158.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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