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This experimental study compares sequential and simultaneous election contests. Consistent with the theory, we find evidence of the “New Hampshire effect” in the sequential contests, i.e., the winner of the first electoral battle wins the overall contest with much higher probability than the loser of the first battle. However, contrary to the theory, sequential contests generate higher expenditure than the simultaneous contests. This is mainly because in the sequential contests losers of the first battle do not decrease their expenditure in the second battle while winners of the first battle increase (instead of decreasing) their expenditure in the second battle. We discuss the implications of our findings both for policy makers and social scientists.


Working Paper 14-15



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