You Can Barely Give It Away

Steven Levitt remarks on a Minnesota teen who tried to sell his vote eBay and was charged with a felony:

The minimum bid was set at $10. Nobody bid on his item. The failure to attract bidders is consistent with the arguments that Dubner and I have made about the puzzle of why people vote. Any individual’s vote is almost certain not to determine a presidential election (especially if that vote is cast in a state like Minnesota). Thus, the market price for that vote should be essentially zero. Certainly well below ten dollars. Of course, the fact that bidding on the item would have gotten you charged with a felony might also have discouraged bidding.