DP11463 The Marginal Voter's Curse
|Author(s):||Helios Herrera, Aniol Llorente-Saguer, Joseph C. McMurray|
|Publication Date:||August 2016|
|Keyword(s):||Experiment, information aggregation, Turnout, Underdog effect|
|JEL(s):||C72, C92, D70|
|Programme Areas:||Public Economics|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11463|
This paper proposes a rational model of voter participation by generalizing a common-value model of costless voting to include not just pivotal voting but also marginal voting incentives. A new strategic incentive for abstention arises in that case, to avoid the marginal voter's curse of pushing the policy outcome in the wrong direction. The marginal voter's curse presents a larger disincentive for voting than the swing voter's curse. Moreover, marginal motivations are shown to dominate pivotal motivations in large elections. Model predictions are confirmed in a laboratory experiment and applied in a comparative analysis of electoral rules.