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A Structural Model of Turnout and Voting in Multiple Elections, Fourth Version

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  • Arianna Degan

    ()
    (Department of Economics, UQAM and CIRPEE)

  • Antonio Merlo

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

This paper develops a unified approach to study participation and voting in multiple elections. The theoretical setting combines an “uncertain-voter” model of turnout with a spatial model of voting behavior. We apply our framework to the study of turnout and voting in U.S. presidential and congressional elections. We structurally estimate the model using individual-level data for the 2000 elections, and quantify the relationships between observed individual characteristics and unobserved citizens’ ideological preferences, information, and civic duty. We then use the estimated model, which replicates the patterns of abstention, selective abstention, split-ticket voting, and straight-ticket voting observed in the data, to assess the effects of policies that may increase citizens’ information and sense of civic duty on their turnout and voting behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 07-025.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2007
Date of revision: 01 Aug 2007
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:07-025

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Keywords: elections; turnout; selective abstention; split-ticket voting;

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References

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  1. DHILLON, Amrita & PERALTA, Susana, . "Economic theories of voter turnout," CORE Discussion Papers RP, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) -1563, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Arianna Degan, 2007. "Candidate Valence: Evidence From Consecutive Presidential Elections," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 457-482, 05.
  3. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-24, June.
  4. Chari, V V & Jones, Larry E & Marimon, Ramon, 1997. "The Economics of Split-Ticket Voting in Representative Democracies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 957-76, December.
  5. 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, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 15-33, January.
  6. 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.
  7. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
  8. Arianna Degan, 2006. "Policy Positions, Information Acquisition and Turnout," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 669-682, December.
  9. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
  10. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin & Andrea Moro, 2004. "The Performance of the Pivotal-Voter Model in Small-Scale Elections: Evidence from Texas Liquor Referenda," NBER Working Papers 10797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
  12. Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
  13. Ron Shachar, 2003. "Party loyalty as habit formation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 251-269.
  14. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. " Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
  15. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-24, December.
  16. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. " Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
  17. Barry Nalebuff & Roni Shachar, 1997. "Follow The Leader: Theory And Evidence On Political Participation," Yale School of Management Working Papers, Yale School of Management ysm57, Yale School of Management.
  18. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens Jr., 2013. "Employment, Wages, and Voter Turnout," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 111-43, October.
  2. Matilde Bombardini & Francesco Trebbi, 2007. "Votes or Money? Theory and Evidence from the US Congress," Working Paper Series, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis 21-07, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jul 2007.
  3. Sobbrio, Francesco & Navarra, Pietro, 2010. "Electoral participation and communicative voting in Europe," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 185-207, June.

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