A Low Information Theory of Ballot Position Effect

A Low Information Theory of Ballot Position Effect This article suggests a theory of ballot position effect based on the amount of information present in the electorate while accounting for several alternative hypotheses. The more information that voters have, all other factors held constant, the less a role ballot position will play. Additionally, the role of electoral institutions in mitigating or magnifying the effect is considered. The theories are tested with precinct-level data from city council elections held in Peoria, Illinois, from 1983 through 1999. Position effect is found to account for a bonus of 0.7% to 5.2% of the precinct-level vote share per position on the ballot. The level of aggregate information and the institutional setting explain a significant share of ballot position effect, even while examined in the presence of alternative explanations such as incumbency, endorsement, campaign expenditure, gender, and race. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

A Low Information Theory of Ballot Position Effect

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1022946710610
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article suggests a theory of ballot position effect based on the amount of information present in the electorate while accounting for several alternative hypotheses. The more information that voters have, all other factors held constant, the less a role ballot position will play. Additionally, the role of electoral institutions in mitigating or magnifying the effect is considered. The theories are tested with precinct-level data from city council elections held in Peoria, Illinois, from 1983 through 1999. Position effect is found to account for a bonus of 0.7% to 5.2% of the precinct-level vote share per position on the ballot. The level of aggregate information and the institutional setting explain a significant share of ballot position effect, even while examined in the presence of alternative explanations such as incumbency, endorsement, campaign expenditure, gender, and race.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 7, 2004

References

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