Schooling and Voter Turnout: Is there an American Exception?
AbstractOne of the most consistent findings in studies of electoral behaviour is that individuals with higher education have a greater propensity to vote. The nature of this relationship is much debated, with US studies generally finding evidence of a causal relationship, while European studies generally reporting no causal effect. To assess whether the US is an exception we rely on an international dataset incorporating 38 countries, the ISSP (International Social Survey Programme) from 1985 to 2010. Both instrumental variable and multi-level modelling approaches reveal that the US is an outlier regarding the relationship between education and voter turnout. Moreover, country-specific institutional and economic factors do not explain the heterogeneity in the relationship of interest. Alternatively, we show that disenfranchisement laws in the U.S. mediate the effect of education on voter turnout, such that the education gradient in voting is greater in U.S. States with the harshest disenfranchisement legislature. As such, the observed relationship between education and voting is partly driven by the effect of education on crime.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6539.
Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Arnaud Chevalier & Orla Doyle, 2012. "SCHOOLING AND VOTER TURNOUT: Is there an American Exception?," Working Papers 201210, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
- Arnaud Chevalier & Orla Doyle, 2012. "Schooling and Voter Turnout - Is there an American Exception?," Working Papers 201213, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-05-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2012-05-22 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-EDU-2012-05-22 (Education)
- NEP-LAB-2012-05-22 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-POL-2012-05-22 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2012-05-22 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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