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Disentangling The Effects Of Political Fragmentation On Voter Turnout: The Flemish Municipal Elections

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  • BENNY GEYS
  • BRUNO HEYNDELS

Abstract

Political fragmentation has been shown to be an important determinant of electoral turnout. We introduce an empirical approach that allows disentangling the impact of two dimensions of such fragmentation: the number of parties and the size inequalities between those parties. This is important as it allows us to assess the size, significance, and direction of the individual effects of each element - an aspect disregarded in previous research. Our empirical analysis of the 2000 Flemish municipal elections shows that a higher number of parties competing in the election lowers turnout. The size inequalities between the parties exert a positive - though insignificant - influence on voter participation. Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics & Politics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 367-387

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:18:y:2006:i:3:p:367-387

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  1. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Schimmelpfenning, Jorg, 1992. " Closeness Counts If It Matters for Electoral Victory: Some Empirical Results for the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 283-99, April.
  2. Davies, Stephen, 1980. "Measuring Industrial Concentration: An Alternative Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 306-09, May.
  3. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  4. Davies, Stephen W, 1979. "Choosing between Concentration Indices: The Iso-Concentration Curve," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 46(181), pages 67-75, February.
  5. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Himmern, Anne Meyer Zu, 1997. " Expected Closeness and Turnout: An Empirical Analysis for the German General Elections, 1983-1994," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 91(1), pages 3-25, April.
  6. Ashworth, John & Heyndels, Bruno & Smolders, Carine, 2002. "Redistribution as a Local Public Good: An Empirical Test for Flemish Municipalities," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 27-56.
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Cited by:
  1. John Ashworth & Benny Geys & Bruno Heyndels, 2006. "Everyone likes a winner: An empirical test of the effect of electoral closeness on turnout in a context of expressive voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 383-405, September.
  2. Revelli, Federico, 2013. "Tax Limits and Local Democracy," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201336, University of Turin.

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