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Casting Ballots When Knowing Results

Gatto, M; Araújo, V; (2021) Casting Ballots When Knowing Results. British Journal of Political Science 10.1017/S000712342100034X. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Access to information about candidates’ performance has long stood as a key factor shaping voter behaviour but establishing how it impacts behaviour in real-world settings has remained challenging. In the 2018 Brazilian presidential elections, unpredictable technical glitches caused by the implementation of biometrics as a form of ID led some voters to cast ballots after official tallies started being announced. In addition to providing a source of exogenous variation of information exposure, runoff elections also enable us to distinguish between different mechanisms underlying the impact of information exposure. We find strong support for a vote-switching bandwagon effect: information exposure motivates voters to abandon losing candidates and switch support for the frontrunner—a finding that stands in the second round, when only two candidates compete against each other. These findings provide theoretical nuance and stronger empirical support for the mechanisms underpinning the impact of information exposure on voter behaviour.

Type: Article
Title: Casting Ballots When Knowing Results
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S000712342100034X
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S000712342100034X
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
Keywords: voter behaviour, bandwagon effect, underdog effect, strategic voting, natural experiment, Brazil
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of the Americas
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134416
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