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Elemental tests of the traditional rational voting model

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  • Darren Grant

    ()

  • Michael Toma

    ()

Abstract

A simple, robust, quasi-linear, structural general equilibrium rational voting model indicates turnout by voters motivated by the possibility of deciding the outcome is bellcurved in the ex-post winning margin and inversely proportional to electorate size. Applying this model to a large set of union certification elections, which often end in ties, yields exacting, lucid tests of the theory. Voter turnout is strongly related to election closeness, but not in the way predicted by the theory. Thus, this relation is generated by some other mechanism, which is indeterminate, as no existing theory explains the nonlinear patterns of turnout in the data.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-008-9319-5
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 137 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 173-195

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:137:y:2008:i:1:p:173-195

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

Related research

Keywords: Rational voter model; Union certification election; Structural modeling; D72; L59; C14;

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  1. DHILLON, Amrita & PERALTA, Susana, . "Economic theories of voter turnout," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1563, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Brennan, Geoffrey & Hamlin, Alan, 1998. " Expressive Voting and Electoral Equilibrium," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 149-75, April.
  3. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
  4. Casey B. Mulligan & Charles G. Hunter, 2001. "The Empirical Frequency of a Pivotal Vote," NBER Working Papers 8590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mutsusaka, J.G. & Palda, F., 1991. "The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy," Papers, Southern California - School of Business Administration 91-30, Southern California - School of Business Administration.
  6. Michael Ensley & Scott Marchi & Michael Munger, 2007. "Candidate uncertainty, mental models, and complexity: Some experimental results," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 231-246, July.
  7. D. Grant, 1998. "Searching for the Downsian Voter with a Simple Structural Model," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 107-126, 07.
  8. Timothy J. Fedderson & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Abstention in Elections with Asymmetric Information and Diverse Preferences," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 1195, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Rebecca S. Demsetz, 1993. "Voting behavior in union representation elections: The influence of skill homogeneity and skill group size," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(1), pages 99-113, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Richard Cebula & Franklin Mixon, 2012. "Dodging the vote?," Empirical Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 325-343, February.
  2. Mei-yin Lin & Yi-ting Tseng & Jue-shyan Wang, 2011. "Closeness and Turnout: Evidence from Election of Taiwan," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(2), pages 1922-1928.

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