Rain, emotions and voting for the status quo


Journal Article

© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Do emotions affect the decision between change and the status quo? We exploit exogenous variation in emotions caused by rain and analyze data on more than 870,000 municipal vote outcomes in Switzerland to address this question. The empirical tests are based on administrative ballot outcomes and individual postvote survey data. We find that rain decreases the share of votes for political change. Our robustness checks suggest that this finding is not driven by changes in the composition of the electorate and changes in information acquisition. In addition, we provide evidence that rain might have altered the outcome of several high-stake votes. We discuss the psychological mechanism and document that rain reduces the willingness to take risks, a pattern that is consistent with the observed reduction in the support for change.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Meier, AN; Schmid, L; Stutzer, A

Published Date

  • October 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 119 /

Start / End Page

  • 434 - 451

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0014-2921

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2019.07.014

Citation Source

  • Scopus