In an informational voting environment, we study the impact of an explicit nil vote option on the ballot when some voters are uninformed and face the swing voters curse. We postulate a simple model of strategic voting in which voters entertain heterogeneous thresholds on legitimacy of different voting actions. We predict that introducing a nil vote option reduces the number of uninformed and invalid votes, increasing expected welfare in both voluntary and compulsory voting. We test our model in a pen-and-paper laboratory experiment, and find that the predictions of the model hold in the data, for both voting systems.
Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)
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