Risk attitudes and independence vote choice

Liñeira, R. and Henderson, A. (2021) Risk attitudes and independence vote choice. Political Behavior, 43(2), pp. 541-560. (doi: 10.1007/s11109-019-09560-x)

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In this article, we examine the impact of risk attitudes on vote choice in the context of a salient referendum with high levels of uncertainty about the consequences of the ballot proposal. Using data from a pre- and post-referendum panel survey conducted in the context of the 2014 independence referendum in Scotland, and a specific battery to measure attitudes to risk, we determine how these attitudes operate in such political contexts. We reach two main conclusions. First, risk attitudes have a direct effect on vote choice, even after controlling for alternative explanations of vote choice such as party identification and leaders’ evaluations. In the aggregate, the effect of risk attitudes on the vote choice contributes to the status quo bias found in referendums. Second, we find that information moderates the effect of risk attitudes on vote choice. Voters who are politically knowledgeable have a greater capacity to predict the consequences of political outcomes and, therefore, they are less affected by their risk attitudes when making their ballot choices.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was funded by FEDER/Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades - Agencia Estatal de Investigación (Spain) (Grant No. PGC2018-096081-A-I00) and by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) (Grant No. ES/L003325/1).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lineira, Dr Robert
Authors: Liñeira, R., and Henderson, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Political Behavior
ISSN (Online):1573-6687
Published Online:01 August 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
First Published:First published in Political Behavior 43(2): 541-560
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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