Do Citizens Vote Sincerely (If They Vote at All)? Theory and Evidence from U. S. National Elections
AbstractUnderstanding citizens’ electoral behavior (e.g., selective abstention and split ticket voting), represents a fundamental step in the analysis of democratic institutions. In this paper, we assess the extent to which sincere voting can explain observed patterns of participation and voting in U.S. national elections. We propose a unified model of turnout and voting in presidential and congressional elections with heterogeneous voters. We estimate the model using individual level data for eight presidential election years (1972-2000). Our main findings can be summarized as follows. First, a non-negligible fraction of the American electorate does not vote sincerely, and only a relatively small fraction of observed split-ticket voting can be explained by sincere voting. Second, there is a systematic, positive relationship between information and turnout. Third, the American electorate has become relatively more polarized over time.
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 Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 04-014.
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 15 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Elections; turnout; selective abstention; split-ticket voting;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-01-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2005-01-02 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2005-01-02 (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.:
- 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.
- Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999. "Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 525-547, June.
- Chari, V V & Jones, Larry E & Marimon, Ramon, 1997.
"The Economics of Split-Ticket Voting in Representative Democracies,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 957-76, December.
- V. V. Chari & Larry E. Jones & Ramon Marimon, 1997. "The economics of split-ticket voting in representative democracies," Working Papers 582, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
- Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996.
"The Swing Voter's Curse,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-24, June.
- Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
- 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.
- Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2002.
"A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers,"
PIER Working Paper Archive
04-037, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Sep 2004.
- Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2005. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 347-373, March.
- Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2004. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," Discussion Papers 1387, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. " Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
- Stephen Hansen & Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1987. "The Downsian model of electoral participation: Formal theory and empirical analysis of the constituency size effect," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 15-33, January.
- Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1993.
" The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy,"
Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 855-78, December.
- James J. Heckman & James M. Snyder, Jr., 1996. "Linear Probability Models of the Demand for Attributes with an Empirical Application to Estimating the Preferences of Legislators," NBER Working Papers 5785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stephen Coate & Brian Knight, 2005. "Socially Optimal Districting," NBER Working Papers 11462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Antonio Merlo, 2005. "Whither Political Economy? Theories, Facts and Issues," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-033, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Dec 2005.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dolly Guarini).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.