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Time to Vote?

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Author Info

  • Gibson, John

    ()
    (University of Waikato)

  • Kim, Bonggeun

    (Seoul National University)

  • Stillman, Steven

    ()
    (University of Otago)

  • Boe-Gibson, Geua

    (University of Waikato)

Abstract

Despite the centrality of voting costs to the paradox of voting, little effort has been made to accurately measure these costs outside of a few spatially limited case studies. In this paper, we apply Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools to validated national election survey data from New Zealand. We calculate distance and travel time by road from the place of residence to the nearest polling place and combine our time estimate with imputed wages for all sample members. Using this new measure of the opportunity cost of voting to predict turnout at the individual level, we find that small increases in the opportunity costs of time can have large effects in reducing voter turnout.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5854.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published online in: Public Choice, 2012, [Online First]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5854

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Related research

Keywords: paradox of voting; opportunity cost; travel time;

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References

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  1. Joshua J. Dyck & James G. Gimpel, 2005. "Distance, Turnout, and the Convenience of Voting," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(3), pages 531-548.
  2. Hausman, J. A. & Abrevaya, Jason & Scott-Morton, F. M., 1998. "Misclassification of the dependent variable in a discrete-response setting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 239-269, September.
  3. Richard Niemi, 1976. "Costs of voting and nonvoting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 115-119, September.
  4. R. Tollison & T. Willett, 1973. "Some simple economics of voting and not voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 59-71, September.
  5. Adam Ozimek & Daniel Miles, 2011. "Stata utilities for geocoding and generating travel time and travel distance information," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(1), pages 106-119, March.
  6. 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.
  7. Bruno Frey, 1971. "Why do high income people participate more in politics?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 101-105, September.
  8. Pesaran, M H, 1974. "On the General Problem of Model Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 153-71, April.
  9. Kwangsuck Lee & In-Moo Kim, 2005. "Estimating the value of leisure time in Korea," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(10), pages 639-641.
  10. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. " Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
  11. Skinner, Jonathan, 1987. "A superior measure of consumption from the panel study of income dynamics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 213-216.
  12. Richard Cebula & Michael Toma, 2006. "Determinants of Geographic Differentials in the Voter Participation Rate," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 34(1), pages 33-40, March.
  13. Pesaran, M H, 1982. "Comparison of Local Power of Alternative Tests of Non-Nested Regression Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1287-1305, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tim Powlowski & Dennis Coates, 2013. "The habit for voting, “civic duty” and travel distance," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 13-05, UMBC Department of Economics.
  2. Roland Hodler & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2012. "The Effects of Voting Costs on the Democratic Process and Public Finances," Working papers 2012/02, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.

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