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Elemental Tests of the Traditional Rational Voting Model

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  • Darren Grant

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Texas at Arlington)

  • Michael Toma

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Armstrong Atlantic State University)

Abstract

A simple, robust, quasi-linear, structural general equilibrium rational voting model indicates turnout by voters motivated by the possibility of deciding the outcome is bellcurved in the ex-post winning margin and inversely proportional to electorate size. Applying this model to a large set of union certification elections, which often end in ties, yields exacting, lucid tests of the theory. Voter turnout is strongly related to election closeness, but not in the way predicted by the theory. Thus, this relation is generated by some other mechanism, which is indeterminate, as no existing theory explains the nonlinear patterns of turnout in the data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business in its series Working Papers with number 0709.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:shs:wpaper:0709

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  1. Michael Ensley & Scott Marchi & Michael Munger, 2007. "Candidate uncertainty, mental models, and complexity: Some experimental results," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 231-246, July.
  2. Brennan, Geoffrey & Hamlin, Alan, 1998. " Expressive Voting and Electoral Equilibrium," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 149-75, April.
  3. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1993. " The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 855-78, December.
  4. Amrita Dhillon & Susana Peralta, 2002. "Economic Theories Of Voter Turnout," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F332-F352, June.
  5. Mulligan, Casey B & Hunter, Charles G, 2003. " The Empirical Frequency of a Pivotal Vote," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(1-2), pages 31-54, July.
  6. 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.
  7. Rebecca S. Demsetz, 1993. "Voting behavior in union representation elections: The influence of skill homogeneity and skill group size," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(1), pages 99-113, October.
  8. 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.
  9. D. Grant, 1998. "Searching for the Downsian Voter with a Simple Structural Model," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 107-126, 07.
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Cited by:
  1. Richard Cebula & Franklin Mixon, 2012. "Dodging the vote?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 325-343, February.
  2. Mei-yin Lin & Yi-ting Tseng & Jue-shyan Wang, 2011. "Closeness and Turnout: Evidence from Election of Taiwan," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(2), pages 1922-1928.

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