Status Quo Bias in Ballot Wording

Michael Barber, David Gordon, Ryan Hill, Joseph Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We examine the role of status quo bias in the ballot wording of social issues that affect the rights of minority groups. We test the salience of this framing bias by conducting an experiment that randomly assigns different ballot wordings for five policies across survey respondents. We find that status quo bias changes the percent of individuals who vote for the ballot measure by 5-8 percentage points with the least informed individuals being the most affected by status quo bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Political Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • ballot wording
  • minority rights
  • Status quo bias
  • survey experiment
  • voting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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