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Group Formation and Voter Participation

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  • Helios Herrera
  • Cesar Martinelli

Abstract

We present a mobilization model of large elections with endogenous formation of voter groups. Citizens decide whether to be followers or become leaders (activists) and try to bring other citizens to vote for their preferred party. In the (unique) pure strategy equilibrium, the number of leaders favoring each party is a function of the cost of activism and the mportance of the election. Expected turnout and winning margin in the election are, in turn, a function of the number of leaders and the strength of social interactions. The model predicts a non monotonic relationship between expected turnout and winning margin in large elections.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 321307000000000225.

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Date of creation: 31 Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:321307000000000225

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  1. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. " Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
  2. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-01, McMaster University.
  3. John Ledyard, 1984. "The pure theory of large two-candidate elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 7-41, January.
  4. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
  5. 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.
  6. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  7. 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.
  8. Mutsusaka, J.G. & Palda, F., 1991. "The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy," Papers 91-30, Southern California - School of Business Administration.
  9. Glaeser, Edward L & Sacerdote, Bruce & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-48, May.
  10. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  11. Knack, Steve, 1994. " Does Rain Help the Republicans? Theory and Evidence on Turnout and the Vote," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 187-209, April.
  12. Matsusaka, John G, 1993. " Election Closeness and Voter Turnout: Evidence from California Ballot Propositions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 313-34, August.
  13. 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.
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