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Does voting affect moral decisionsand equality preferences?
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Economics.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Economics.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Previous studies have shown that people in groups and in markets can change theirmoral and social preferences (Charness & Sutter, 2012; Falk & Szech, 2013). Voting ondecisions share some features with group decision-making and markets, yet little isinvestigated whether voting alters individuals’ preferences. In this exploratory study,we aim to investigate how voting affects decision-making concerning moral and equalitypreferences. We perform a laboratory experiment with 178 subjects based on fivegames, one game related to moral behavior, and four dictator games related to equalitypreferences. The games are performed in both a Voting Condition (VC) and in an IndividualCondition (IC), together with a set of control questions. We do not find differencesin moral decisions between voting by majority rule, and deciding individually.This result demonstrates that deciding in a voting context does not induce a loss of responsibilityfor the moral issue. We observe that voting leads to increased equalitypreferences in one of four dictator games. In particular, our results indicate that voterssuffer more from envy compared to people who decide individually. Further, we find anindication that people are more inclined to vote for a moral decision if they expect to bepivotal, which is the opposite prediction of low cost theory. In conclusion, voting canalter individuals' preferences depending on the type of issue and how the outcome affectsthe voter. Our novel findings motivate for further research in this area, which canhave important policy implications for voting on several levels in society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 54 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130353ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--16/02331--SEOAI: diva2:950730
Subject / course
Master Thesis in Economics
Available from: 2016-08-02 Created: 2016-08-02 Last updated: 2016-08-15Bibliographically approved

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