Increasing Voter Turnout: Is Democracy Day the Answer?
AbstractIt has often been argued that voter turnout in the United States is too low, particularly compared with turnout in other industrialized democracies, and that a healthy democracy should have higher turnout. One proposal that has been considered by Congress to increase voter turnout is the creation of Democracy Day, making Election Day a national holiday. In this study I evaluate the likely effectiveness of an election holiday in increasing turnout by studying how state regulations making election day a holiday for state employees affects voter turnout among state employees in those states. I exploit these natural experiments in a difference-in-difference context, using various groups of non-state employees as controls. My analysis relies on data from Voting Supplements to the Current Population Survey in November 2004 and 2006. The results are clear. There is no evidence from the natural experiment of states providing an election holiday for state employees that such holidays significantly increase voter turnout. I conclude that having an election holiday, by itself, is not an effective strategy to increase voter turnout.
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 Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 1116.
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Firestone Library, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-2098
Phone: 609 258-4041
Fax: 609 258-2907
Web page: http://www.irs.princeton.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Voting; voter turnout; democracy day; voters; election holiday;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Long).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.