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Voting when the stakes are high

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  • Gisle James Natvik

    ()
    (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway))

  • Jørgen Juel Andersen

    ()
    (Norwegian School of Management)

  • Jon H. Fiva

    ()
    (University of Oslo)

Abstract

Rational choice theories of electoral participation stress that an individual's decision to vote depends on her expected net benefit from doing so. If this instrumental motive is relevant, then turnout should be higher in elections where more is at stake. We test this prediction, by studying how turnout is affected by exogenous variation in governments' financial exibility to provide pork for their voters. By utilizing simultaneous elections for different offices, we identify a positive effect of election stakes on turnout.

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File URL: http://www.norges-bank.no/en/Published/Papers/Working-Papers/2010/WP-201015/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Norges Bank in its series Working Paper with number 2010/15.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 30 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bno:worpap:2010_15

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Keywords: Voter Motivation; Elections; Turnout;

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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).
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  3. Haegeland, Torbjørn & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2008. "Pennies from Heaven? Using Exogeneous Tax Variation to Identify Effects of School Resources on Pupil Achievements," IZA Discussion Papers 3561, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Levitt, Steven D & Snyder, James M, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Federal Spending on House Election Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 30-53, February.
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  6. 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.
  7. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens Jr., 2013. "Employment, Wages, and Voter Turnout," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 111-43, October.
  8. DeBacker, Jason, 2011. "The price of pork: The seniority trap in the U.S. House," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 63-78, February.
  9. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro & Michael Sinkinson, 2009. "The Effect of Newspaper Entry and Exit on Electoral Politics," NBER Working Papers 15544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jon Fiva & Jørn Rattsø, 2007. "Local choice of property taxation: evidence from Norway," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 457-470, September.
  11. Houser, Daniel & Morton, Rebecca & Stratmann, Thomas, 2011. "Turned on or turned out? Campaign advertising, information and voting," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 708-727.
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  13. Benny Geys, 2006. "'Rational' Theories of Voter Turnout: A Review," Political Studies Review, Political Studies Association, vol. 4(1), pages 16-35.
  14. Arianna Degan & Antonio Merlo, 2006. "A Structural Model of Turnout and Voting in Multiple Elections," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-011, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Feb 2007.
  15. Thomas Schwartz, 1987. "Your vote counts on account of the way it is counted: An institutional solution to the paradox of not voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 101-121, January.
  16. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1994. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," NBER Working Papers 4956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Patricia Funk, 2010. "Social Incentives and Voter Turnout: Evidence from the Swiss Mail Ballot System," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1077-1103, 09.
  18. Blais, Andre & Young, Robert, 1999. " Why Do People Vote? An Experiment in Rationality," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 39-55, April.
  19. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
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Cited by:
  1. May Elsayyad & Kai A. Konrad, 2010. "Fighting Multiple Tax Havens," CESifo Working Paper Series 3195, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Lars-Erik Borge & Pernille Parmer & Ragnar Torvik, 2013. "Local Natural Resource Curse?," Working Papers 0014, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
  3. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke & Rune J. Sørensen, 2013. "The Power of Parties," CESifo Working Paper Series 4119, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Revelli, Federico, 2013. "Tax Limits and Local Democracy," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201336, University of Turin.
  5. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke, 2011. "Mechanical and Psychological Effects of Electoral Reform," CESifo Working Paper Series 3505, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Janne Tukiainen & Teemu Lyytikäinen, 2013. "Voters are rational," Working Papers 50, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  7. Claus Michelsen & Peter Boenisch & Benny Geys, 2014. "(De)Centralization and voter turnout: theory and evidence from German municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 469-483, June.
  8. Geys, Benny, 2012. "Success and failure in electoral competition: Selective issue emphasis under incomplete issue ownership," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2012-102, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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