DP15645 Self-Signaling in Moral Voting

Author(s): Lydia Mechtenberg, Grischa Perino, Nicolas Treich, Jean-Robert Tyran, Stephanie Wang
Publication Date: January 2021
Keyword(s): information avoidance, moral bias, multi-wave field experiment, voting
JEL(s): C93, D72, D91
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15645

This paper presents a two-wave survey experiment on self-image concerns in moral voting. We elicit votes on the so-called Horncow Initiative. This initiative required subsidization of farmers who refrain from dehorning. We investigate how non-consequentialist and non-deontological messages changing the moral self-signaling value of a Yes vote affect selection and processing of consequentialist information, and reported voting behavior. We find that a message enhancing the self-signaling value of a Yes vote is effective: voters agree more with arguments in favor of the initiative, anticipate more frequently voting in favor, and report more frequently having voted in favor of the initiative.