Séminaire KTO-GREDEG-OFCE - Daniel John Zizzo (Newcastle University)

"Identifying Voter Preferences in the Presence of Trade-Offs"
Quand ? Le 31-05-2018,
de 14:00 à 15:30
Où ? GREDEG - Salle Picasso
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Title: Identifying Voter Preferences in the Presence of Trade-Offs

Authors: Fabio Galeotti (Univ Lyon, CNRS, GATE) and Daniel John Zizzo (BENC and Newcastle University)

We present a simple experimental setup to estimate voter preferences in the presence of trade-offs between desirable attributes. Information is collected in a first stage with regards to desirable attributes. In a second stage, voters can select who will determine their earnings based on signals of quality by the candidates, such as attributes information collected from the first stage. We present two studies employing this setup and consider some of the possible extensions.

In a first study (European Economic Review, June 2018), we apply this experimental setup to measure how voters trade off the competence and honesty of candidates in elections. We measure the competence and honesty of candidates by asking them to work on a real effort task and decide whether to report truthfully or not the value of their work. In the first stage, the earnings are the result of the competence and honesty of one randomly selected participant. In the second stage, subjects can select who will determine their earnings based on the first stage’s competence and honesty of the alternative candidates. We find that most voters tend to have a bias towards caring about honesty even when this results in lower payoffs.

In a second and ongoing study, we have collected data so far on how voters trade off closeness in political identity with competence of candidates. We can also verify whether this bias is equivalent to that which would be induced by minimal group identity, or whether there is something specific about political identity which drives our results. Our preliminary findings show no significant evidence for a minimal group identity bias, whereas political identity produces a preference against comparatively more competent candidates which is over three times as big as what would be predicted by random mistakes. In the data collected so far, this political identity effect appears especially driven by left-wing voters.