What motivates bandwagon voting behavior

Altruism or a desire to win?

Rebecca B. Morton, Kai Ou

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper surveys the literature on psychological and strategic mental processes of bandwagon behavior, discusses the literature of bandwagon behavior in the context of the two different types, bandwagon vote choices and bandwagon abstention effects, and examines the rationality of other-regarding bandwagon vote choices. Key experimental results are reported to investigate the extent that bandwagon behavior can be explained by other-regarding preferences in contrast to a psychological desire to simply support a winner. We find support for purely psychological non-other-regarding bandwagon behavior but primarily when subjects have information about the distribution of voter choices in previous elections but individual choices are private. Interestingly, when voting is public this type of bandwagon behavior disappears and bandwagon behavior that could be other-regrading is much higher. Given that observability increases other-regarding behavior in other contexts, our results suggest that some of the observed bandwagon behavior may be explained by other-regarding preferences as well.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)224-241
    Number of pages18
    JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
    Volume40
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

    Fingerprint

    voting behavior
    altruism
    voter
    bandwagon effect
    Altruism
    Bandwagon
    Voting behavior
    rationality
    voting
    election

    Keywords

    • Bandwagon behavior
    • Majority voting
    • Other-regarding voting
    • Secret ballots

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Political Science and International Relations

    Cite this

    What motivates bandwagon voting behavior : Altruism or a desire to win? / Morton, Rebecca B.; Ou, Kai.

    In: European Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 40, 01.12.2015, p. 224-241.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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