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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Nathan Schiff

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November 2007Momentum and Social Learning in Presidential Primaries
with Brian Knight: w13637
This paper provides an investigation of the role of momentum and social learning in sequential voting systems. In the econometric model, voters are uncertain over candidate quality, and voters in late states attempt to infer the information held by those in early states from voting returns. Candidates experience momentum effects when their performance in early states exceeds expectations. The empirical application focuses on the responses of daily polling data to the release of voting returns in the 2004 presidential primary. We find that Kerry benefited from surprising wins in early states and took votes away from Dean, who held a strong lead prior to the beginning of the primary season. The voting weights implied by the estimated model demonstrate that early voters have up to 20 times th...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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