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Informatization, voter turnout and income inequality

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  • Ryo Arawatari

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Abstract

In recent years, voter turnout has been decreasing in most industrial countries, and about 40% of all electors abstain from voting. This may affect income inequality and the GDP growth rate through a redistribution policy determined by majority voting. In this paper, we explore the reasons for this continuing decrease in voter turnout and assess its social costs. We conclude that informatization lowers voter turnout by generating an information overload, and that a decrease in voter turnout lowers GDP growth by limiting income redistribution.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10888-007-9062-z
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Economic Inequality.

Volume (Year): 7 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 29-54

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:7:y:2009:i:1:p:29-54

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Web page: http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=111137

Related research

Keywords: Income inequality; Information; Informatization; Voter turnout; Voting; D31; O15; O41; P16;

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  1. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
  2. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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  9. David Dreyer Lassen, 2004. "The Effect of Information on Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," EPRU Working Paper Series 04-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  10. Katsuya Takii & Ryuichi Tanaka, 2006. "Does the Diversity of Human Capital Increase GDP? A Comparison of Education Systems," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 06-19, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  11. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  12. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
  13. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-24, June.
  14. Hongyi Li & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Income Inequality Is Not Harmful for Growth: Theory and Evidence," CEMA Working Papers 74, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  15. Smith, James P, 1984. "Race and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 685-98, September.
  16. Alberto Chong & Mauricio Olivera, 2005. "On Compulsory Voting and Income Inequality in a Cross-Section of Countries," Research Department Publications 4413, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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