Referendum Design, Quorum Rules and Turnout
AbstractIn this article, we focus on the consequences of quorum requirements for turnout in referendums. We use a rational choice, decision theoretic voting model to demonstrate that participation quorums change the incentives some electors face, inducing those who oppose changes in the status quo and expect to be in the minority to abstain. As a result, paradoxically, participation quorums decrease electoral participation. We test our model’s predictions using data for all referendums held in current European Union countries from 1970 until 2007, and show that the existence of a participation quorums increases abstention by more than ten percentage points.
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 NIPE - Universidade do Minho in its series NIPE Working Papers with number 05/2008.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Núcleo de Investigação em Políticas Económicas, Escola de Economia e Gestão, Universidade do Minho, P-4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Phone: +351-253604510 ext 5532
Web page: http://www3.eeg.uminho.pt/economia/nipe/versao_inglesa/index_uk.htm
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
- C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-03-01 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2008-03-01 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-DCM-2008-03-01 (Discrete Choice Models)
- NEP-POL-2008-03-01 (Positive Political Economics)
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.:
- Noam, Eli M, 1980. "The Efficiency of Direct Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 803-10, August.
- Chamberlain, Gary & Rothschild, Michael, 1981. "A note on the probability of casting a decisive vote," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 152-162, August.
- Helios Herrera & Andrea Mattozzi, 2010.
"Quorum and Turnout in Referenda,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 838-871, 06.
- 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.
- Sarah Voitchovsky, 2005. "Does the Profile of Income Inequality Matter for Economic Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 273-296, 09.
- Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
- Lewis-Beck, Michael S. & Tien, Charles, 1999. "Voters as forecasters: a micromodel of election prediction," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 175-184, April.
- Timothy J. Fedderson & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1996. "Abstention in Elections with Asymmetric Information and Diverse Preferences," Discussion Papers 1195, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Coate, Stephen & Conlin, Michael & Moro, Andrea, 2008. "The performance of pivotal-voter models in small-scale elections: Evidence from Texas liquor referenda," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 582-596, April.
- Aguiar-Conraria, Luís & Magalhães, Pedro C., 2010. "How quorum rules distort referendum outcomes: Evidence from a pivotal voter model," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 541-557, December.
- Francois Maniquet & Massimo Morelli, 2010.
"Approval Quorums Dominate Participation Quorums,"
Economics Working Papers
ECO2010/13, European University Institute.
- Luís Francisco Aguiar-Conraria & Pedro C. Magalhães & Christoph A. Vanberg, 2013. "Experimental evidence that quorum rules discourage turnout and promote election boycotts," NIPE Working Papers 14/2013, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
- Natália P. Monteiro & Paulo Bastos, 2009.
"Managers and wage policies,"
NIPE Working Papers
2/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
- Linda Gonçalves Veiga, 2013.
"Voting functions in the EU-15,"
Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 411-428, December.
- Claus Michelsen & Peter Boenisch & Benny Geys, 2014. "(De)Centralization and voter turnout: theory and evidence from German municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 469-483, June.
- Marc Pauly, 2013. "Characterizing referenda with quorums via strategy-proofness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 75(4), pages 581-597, October.
- Luís Francisco Aguiar & Pedro C. Magalhães, 2009. "How quorum rules distort referendum outcomes: evidence from a pivotal voter model," NIPE Working Papers 17/2009, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
- Sabine Flamand & Orestis Troumpounis, 2014. "Participation quorums in costly meetings," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 53-62, April.
- Fernando Alexandre & Miguel Portela & Carla Sá, 2008.
"Admission conditions and graduates' employability,"
NIPE Working Papers
16/2008, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
- Yoichi Hizen & Masafumi Shinmyo, 2011. "Imposing a turnout threshold in referendums," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 491-503, September.
- Thomas Jensen & Asger Lau Andersen, 2010. "Exit Polls and Voter Turnout," EPRU Working Paper Series 2010-10, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Maaser, Nicola, 2013. "On the design of citizens’ initiatives in a union of states," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 36-39.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maria João Thompson).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.