Evidence on the Effect of Political Platform Transparency on Partisan Voting
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We examine the impact of providing voters with additional information related to candidates’ views on particular issues on voters’ tendencies to cross the party line. When we randomize the provision of this information in an experimental setting where participants are undergraduate students at a large public university, we find that “treatment” increases the likelihood that a voter will cross the party line by an average of 4 percentage points. This corresponds to an approximately 20% decrease in partisan voting. Surprisingly, treatment effects are not more pronounced among voters whose opposing party’s candidate is the relatively moderate candidate in the election. They are, however, more pronounced among Democrat voters. These findings suggest that transparency, with respect to candidates’ views on particular issues, has a corroding effect on partisanship among a subset of voters.
KeywordsVoting Political campaigning Information Public Choice
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