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A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence

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  • Stephen Coate
  • Michael Conlin

Abstract

This paper explores a group rule–utilitarian approach to understanding voter turnout, inspired by the theoretical work of John C. Harsanyi (1980) and Timothy J. Feddersen and Alvaro Sandroni (2002). It develops a model based on this approach and studies its performance in explaining turnout in Texas liquor referenda. The results are encouraging: the comparative static predictions of the model are broadly consistent with the data, and a structurally estimated version of the model yields reasonable coefficient estimates and fits the data well. The structurally estimated model also outperforms a simple expressive voting model.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0002828043052231
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec04_data_coate.zip
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 94 (2004)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1476-1504

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:5:p:1476-1504

Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828043052231
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