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Elections as Targeting Contests

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  • Cesar Martinelli

    ()
    (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM))

Abstract

This paper develops a model of electoral turnout where parties compensate voters for showing up to the polls. Existence and uniqueness conditions are shown to impose substantial restrictions on the uncertainty about partisan support faced by the parties, and on the distribution of voting costs among citizens. The model predicts that voters in the minority will be more likely to vote, and that turnout increases with the importance of the election. The model can generate the observed correlation between election closeness and electoral turnout, lthough the cause of this correlation may depend on the distribution of voting costs.

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File URL: http://ftp.itam.mx/pub/academico/inves/martinelli/06-01.pdf
File Function: First version, 2005-07-26
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM in its series Working Papers with number 0601.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision: Mar 2006
Handle: RePEc:cie:wpaper:0601

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Keywords: Elections;

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  1. Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
  2. 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.
  3. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
  4. 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).
  5. Jack Hirshleifer, 1989. "Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: Ratio vs. difference models of relative success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 101-112, November.
  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. Herrera, Helios & Levine, David K. & Martinelli, César, 2008. "Policy platforms, campaign spending and voter participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 501-513, April.
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