How much is your vote worth?

Now I realize that this was in the news a while back, but I think it is important to discuss.

People were outraged to hear that some NYU students would give up their right to vote in this next election for an IPOD.

And half would renounce their vote for one million dollars…

To examine this further lets look at the economic equation of how much a vote is worth…

Returns of Voting = Probability of your vote changing the election X (net expected benefits of your candidate winning) – Cost of Voting + Civic Pride

Some economist believe that it is rational not to vote. A term we call “rational ignorance.”

Considering that at best 40% of Americans vote and half of them would sell it for 1 million that still leave 10% of people that won vote. This is of course assuming that none of the people that vote would deviate to the other side and take a million.

Now the interesting turn to this is that as each person takes that million dollars, even though in America it would take a lot of money to tap in that 40%, your equation would change and the odds that your vote would change the election would go up.

Then your price might go up. What it would be would be impossible to tell.

Just remember the people that would be left are the special interest groups and nationalist because voting means a lot more to them in benefits from candidates and civic pride respectively.

Would the rich go first or last? First, there time is worth a lot more than the poor but then again one million dollars may not mean as much to them.


Published in: on December 5, 2007 at 4:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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