Neighborhood information exchange and voter participation : an experimental study
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We study the effect of social embeddedness on voter turnout by investigating the role of information about other voters’ decisions. We do so in a participation game, where some voters (‘receivers’) are told about some other voters’ (‘senders’) turnout decision at a first stage of the game. Cases are distinguished where the voters support the same or different candidates or where they are uncertain about each other’s preferences. Our experimental results show that such information matters. Participation is much higher when information is exchanged than when it is not. Senders strategically try to use their first mover position and some receivers respond to this.