Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?
AbstractThis paper evaluates the ability of common explanatory variables to predict who votes. Logit voting regressions are estimated with more than three dozen explanatory variables using survey and aggregate data for the 1979, 1980, 1984, and 1988 Canadian national elections. The authors find that the usual demographic variables such as age and education, and contextual variables such as campaign spending have significant effects on the probability of voting, but the models have low R-square's and cannot predict who votes more accurately than random guessing. They also estimate regressions using past voting behavior as a predictor of current behavior, and find that although the explanatory power rises it remains low. This suggests that the difficulty in explaining turnout arises primarily from omitted time-varying variables. In some sense, then, it appears that whether or not a person votes is to a large degree random. The evidence provides support for the rational voter theory, and is problematic for psycho/sociological approaches. Copyright 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.
Volume (Year): 98 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (March)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.