Overconfidence in political behavior

Pietro Ortoleva, Erik Snowberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-535
Number of pages32
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Overconfidence in political behavior'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this