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Informatization, Voter Turnout and Income Inequality

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  • Ryo Arawatari

    ()
    (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)

Abstract

In recent years, voter turnout has been decreasing in most industrial countries, and about 40% of all electors abstain from voting. This may affect income inequality and the GDP growth rate through a redistribution policy determined by majority voting. In this paper, we explore the reasons for this continuing decrease in voter turnout and assess its social costs. We conclude that informatization lowers voter turnout by generating an information overload, and that a decrease in voter turnout lowers GDP growth by limiting income redistribution.

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File URL: http://www2.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/global/dp/0728.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in its series Discussion Papers in Economics and Business with number 07-28.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:0728

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Web page: http://www.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/
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Keywords: Income inequality; Information; Informatization; Voter turnout; Voting;

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Timothy J. Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "The Swing Voter's Curse," Discussion Papers 1064, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," NBER Working Papers 11820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  10. David Dreyer Lassen, 2004. "The Effect of Information on Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," EPRU Working Paper Series 04-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  11. Dennis C. Mueller & Thomas Stratmann, 2002. "The Economic Effects of Democratic Participation," CESifo Working Paper Series 656, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Takii, Katsuya & Tanaka, Ryuichi, 2009. "Does the diversity of human capital increase GDP? A comparison of education systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 998-1007, August.
  13. Alberto Chong & Mauricio Olivera, 2005. "On Compulsory Voting and Income Inequality in a Cross-Section of Countries," Research Department Publications 4413, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  14. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
  15. Hongyi Li & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Income Inequality Is Not Harmful for Growth: Theory and Evidence," CEMA Working Papers 74, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  16. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
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