Discussion paper

DP15645 Self-Signaling in Moral Voting

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.


Mechtenberg, L, G Perino, N Treich, J Tyran and S Wang (2021), ‘DP15645 Self-Signaling in Moral Voting‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 15645. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp15645