Overconfidence in political behavior

Publication Year
2015

Type

Journal Article
Abstract
This paper studies, theoretically and empirically, the role of overconfidence in political behavior. Our model of overconfidence in beliefs predicts that overconfidence leads to ideological extremeness, increased voter turnout, and stronger partisan identification. The model also makes nuanced predictions about the patterns of ideology in society. These predictions are tested using unique data that measure the overconfidence, and standard political characteristics, of a nationwide sample of over 3,000 adults. Our numerous predictions find strong support in these data. In particular, we document that overconfidence is a substantively and statistically important predictor of ideological extremeness, voter turnout, and partisan identification. (JEL XXX)
Journal
American Economic Review
Volume
105
Pages
504–535
Date Published
feb
ISSN Number
00028282
ISBN
9788578110796
PMID
25246403