Following Their Leaders: The Preferences of Elites

Source: EconLog
by Kevin Corcoran

“Holcombe argues that voters have both instrumental preferences, which are about the outcomes they prefer, and expressive preferences, which are about what voters prefer to express. But expressive preferences and instrumental preferences are not always the same. Since casting a vote does not create an outcome, voters will tend to act expressively, not instrumentally, when casting their vote. Because elections aggregate expressive preferences, not instrumental preferences, we cannot make valid inferences about the outcomes voters actually prefer by referencing election results.” (05/17/23)