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Are voters rationally ignorant? An empirical study of Portuguese local elections

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  • Ester Silva

    ()

  • José Silva Costa

    ()

Abstract

The application of the rational choice postulate to a political context invariably leads to the conclusion that most voters are ill informed when making the decision for whom to vote. In this paper, the authors do an empirical evaluation of the rational ignorance theory, based on the results of the 1997 Portuguese Local Elections. The results only partially sustain the hypothesis of rational ignorance, although it is also possible to identify several limitations that prevent the establishment of definite conclusions in this specific field.JEL Classification: H7 Key words: Voter’s Behaviour; Local Elections; Local Governments; Portugal.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10258-006-0002-9
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Portuguese Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 5 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 31-44

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Handle: RePEc:spr:portec:v:5:y:2006:i:1:p:31-44

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Related research

Keywords: Voters’ behaviour; DEA analysis; Local elections; Local governments; Portugal;

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  1. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
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  9. De Borger, B, et al, 1994. " Explaining Differences in Productive Efficiency: An Application to Belgian Municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 80(3-4), pages 339-58, September.
  10. Sam Peltzman, 1988. "How Efficient Is the Voting Market?," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 53, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  11. Golany, B & Roll, Y, 1989. "An application procedure for DEA," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 237-250.
  12. James M. Buchanan, 1954. "Individual Choice in Voting and the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 334.
  13. De Borger, Bruno & Kerstens, Kristiaan, 1996. "Cost efficiency of Belgian local governments: A comparative analysis of FDH, DEA, and econometric approaches," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 145-170, April.
  14. Mueller, Dennis C & Stratmann, Thomas, 1994. " Informative and Persuasive Campaigning," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(1-2), pages 55-77, October.
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