SITE Seminar with Raphael Corbi
Raphael Corbi, University of Sao Paolo, When Are Politically Irrelevant Events Relevant to Election Outcomes?
2019-01-29 at 12:00
2019-01-29 at 13:00
SITE Library, SSE, Bertil Ohlins Gata 5, 9th fl.
Raphael Corbi is an Assistant Professor in Economics at the University of Sao Paolo. He has a PhD in Economics from London Business School. His research interests include Development, Political Economy, Applied Macroeconomics and Public Finance.
Interested in finding out more? Visit his website.
On Jan 29, Raphael will be presenting his paper When Are Politically Irrelevant Events Relevant to Election Outcomes?. See abstract below.
This paper analyzes the impact of transient emotional shocks induced by unexpected soccer results on incumbent vote share in Brazilian elections. Conditioning on pregame betting markets implied probabilities of each match outcome, I am able to interpret the estimate of actual soccer results on voting behavior as a causal effect. The results indicate that an increase of one s.d. in the share of people receiving a negative emotional shock decreases the incumbent mayor vote share by 5 − 5.8 p.p. on average. This is equivalent to flipping the result of 747 mayoral elections or 4.3% of the sample. The effect is stronger for more intense emotional shocks and for games with higher stadium attendance and local teams in the first division. Similar findings arise when I focus on gubernatorial elections. These results cannot be explained by changes in turnout. However I argue that such effect would not overturn the outcome of an election. More specifically, I show that emotional shocks do not play a significant role in deter- mining vote shares when elections are decided by a small margin. I also show that such close election pattern is found in two different settings previously analyzed by the litera- ture and provide complementary evidence from Google searches that individuals actively seek more information about candidates in close electoral races. Overall these results are consistent with a model in which voters’ preferences are affected by emotional cues which may deviate their voting behavior from the forecasts of rational theory. Close elections make information about candidates more salient in the media hence lowering the attention cost to picking the best candidate, improving rational decision making of limited attention voters and decreasing the bias induced by emotional shocks.
Read the paper here.