Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Community size, heterogeneity and voter turnouts

Contents:

Author Info

  • Serguei Kaniovski

    ()

  • Dennis Mueller

    ()

Abstract

Numerous studies have found a negative relationship between the closeness of an election, the size of the electorate and voter turnout. It is often claimed that this relationship supports the rational voter hypothesis, with closeness and size proxying for the decisiveness of a vote. We offer a different interpretation. Larger communities are more heterogeneous than smaller ones, and turnouts are inversely related to the heterogeneity of a community. We present empirical support for this hypothesis using data for voter turnouts in Norwegian school language referendums. Community size is found to have a negative effect on voter turnouts, even after accounting for the probability of a single vote being decisive and the linguistic dimension of this heterogeneity. Our findings question the adequacy of the turnout regression in testing the rational voter hypothesis, as neither a positive correlation between closeness and turnout, nor a negative correlation between size and turnout can be exclusively attributed to instrumental voting. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-006-9063-7
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 129 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 399-415

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:129:y:2006:i:3:p:399-415

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

Related research

Keywords: Voter turnout; Community size; Heterogeneity;

Other versions of this item:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Working Papers 9902, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  3. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Public Education," NBER Working Papers 5677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eliana La Ferrara, . "Inequality and Group Participation: Theory and Evidence from Rural Tanzania," Working Papers 161, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Kafoglis, Milton & Cebula, Richard, 1980. "The Buchanan-Tullock Model: Some Extensions," MPRA Paper 51216, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. " Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
  10. Lindert, Peter H., 1996. "What Limits Social Spending?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-34, January.
  11. Mutsusaka, J.G. & Palda, F., 1991. "The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy," Papers 91-30, Southern California - School of Business Administration.
  12. Oberholzer-Gee, Felix & Waldfogel, Joel, 2005. "Strength in Numbers: Group Size and Political Mobilization," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 73-91, April.
  13. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2001. "Cowards and Heroes: Group Loyalty in the American Civil War," NBER Working Papers 8627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Guillermo Owen & Bernard Grofman, 1984. "To vote or not to vote: The paradox of nonvoting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 311-325, January.
  15. Barry Nalebuff & Roni Shachar, 1997. "Follow The Leader: Theory And Evidence On Political Participation," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm57, Yale School of Management.
  16. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  17. Miguel, Edward & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2005. "Ethnic diversity, social sanctions, and public goods in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2325-2368, December.
  18. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Daniel Horn, 2011. "GINI DP 16: Income Inequality and Voter Turnout," GINI Discussion Papers 16, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:129:y:2006:i:3:p:399-415. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.