On the Causes and Consequences of Ballot Order Effects

Marc Meredith*, Yuval Salant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate the effect of ballot order on the outcomes of California city council and school board elections. Candidates listed first win office between four and five percentage points more often than expected absent order effects. This first candidate advantage is larger in races with more candidates and for higher quality candidates. The first candidate advantage is similar across contexts: the magnitude of the effect is not statistically distinguishable in city council and in school board elections, in races with and without an open seat, and in races consolidated and not consolidated with statewide general elections. Standard satisficing models cannot fully explain ballot order effects in our dataset of multi-winner elections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-197
Number of pages23
JournalPolitical Behavior
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • Ballot order effects
  • City council
  • Satisificing
  • School boards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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