NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Collin B. Raymond

Department of Economics
Amherst College
305 Converse Hall
Amherst, MA 01002

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2017One in a Million: Field Experiments on Perceived Closeness of the Election and Voter Turnout
with Alan Gerber, Mitchell Hoffman, John Morgan: w23071
A common feature of many models of voter turnout is that increasing the perceived closeness of the election should increase voter turnout. However, cleanly testing this prediction is difficult and little is known about voter beliefs regarding the closeness of a given race. We conduct a field experiment during the 2010 US gubernatorial elections where we elicit voter beliefs about the closeness of the election before and after showing different polls, which, depending on treatment, indicate a close race or a not close race. We find that subjects update their beliefs in response to new information, but systematically overestimate the probability of a very close election. However, the decision to vote is unaffected by beliefs about the closeness of the election. A follow-up field experiment, ...
 
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