Participation and Political Equality in Direct Democracy: Educative Effect or Social Bias
AbstractThis paper analyzes the moderating effect of direct democracy on the relationship of socioeconomic status and political participation. A skeptical position holds that direct democracy increases social bias in the electorate as issues are too complex and demanding. Participatory democrats in contrast invoke an educative effect of direct democratic institutions, thus decreasing social bias of the electorate. To test both arguments we use data from the Swiss equivalent of the American states and estimate cross-level interactions of socioeconomic direct democracy variables on political participation. First differences between effects in the least and most direct democratic cantons are not statistically significant. This result may be seen as relief for skeptics as well as disappointment for proponents of direct democracy.
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 InfoPaper provided by University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences in its series University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers with number 3.
Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 10 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.sowi.unibe.ch/
Direct democracy; Political participation; Educative effect; SES model; First differences;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
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.:
- David Dreyer Lassen, 2004. "The Effect of Information on Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," EPRU Working Paper Series 04-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Peter Selb, 2008. "Supersized votes: ballot length, uncertainty, and choice in direct legislation elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 319-336, June.
- Arthur A. Goldsmith, 2005. "Plebiscites, Fiscal Policy and the Poor: Learning from US Experience with Direct Democracy," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 23(5), pages 553-566, 09.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000.
"Happiness, Economy and Institutions,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
246, CESifo Group Munich.
- Hall, Peter A. & Taylor, Rosemary C. R., 1996. "Political science and the three new institutionalisms," MPIfG Discussion Paper 96/6, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
- Joshua J. Dyck & Nicholas R. Seabrook, 2010. "Mobilized by Direct Democracy: Short-Term Versus Long-Term Effects and the Geography of Turnout in Ballot Measure Elections," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 91(1), pages 188-208.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ben Jann).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.