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Political Interest, Cognitive Ability and Personality - Determinants of Voter Turnout in Britain

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Author Info

  • Kevin Denny

    (University College Dublin)

  • Patrick Orla Doyle

    (University College Dublin)

Abstract

This paper uses longitudinal data from the National Cohort Development Study (NCDS) to investigate the determinants of voter turnout in the 1997 British General Election. It introduces measures of cognitive ability and personality into models of electoral participation and finds that firstly, their inclusion reduces the impact of education and secondly, that standard turnout models may be biased by the inclusion of the much used “interest in politics” measure. A bivariate probit model of turnout and interest then shows that individuals with high ability, an aggressive personality and a sense of civic duty are more likely to both turn out to vote and to have an interest in politics.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/research/papers/2005/WP05.11.pdf
File Function: First version, 2005
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200511.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 08 Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200511

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Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
Phone: +353-1-7067777
Fax: +353-1-283 0068
Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics
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Related research

Keywords: Turnout; Education; Ability; Personality;

References

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Kevin Denny, 2003. "The effects of human capital on social capital: a cross-country analysis," IFS Working Papers W03/16, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Mueller, Gerrit & Plug, Erik, 2004. "Estimating the Effect of Personality on Male-Female Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 1254, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Valentino Larcinese, 2006. "Information Acquisition, Ideology and Turnout:Theory and Evidence from Britain," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 18, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. Nyhus, Ellen K. & Pons, Empar, 2005. "The effects of personality on earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-384, June.
  5. Charles Pattie & Ron Johnston, 2001. "A Low Turnout Landslide: Abstention at the British General Election of 1997," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 49(2), pages 286-305, 06.
  6. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Knack, Stephen & Kropf, Martha, 1998. "For shame! The effect of community cooperative context on the probability of voting," MPRA Paper 27258, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Kevin Milligan & Enrico Moretti & Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "Does Education Improve Citizenship? Evidence from the U.S. and the U.K," NBER Working Papers 9584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Arnaud Chevalier & Orla Doyle, 2012. "SCHOOLING AND VOTER TURNOUT: Is there an American Exception?," Working Papers 201210, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  2. R. Urbatsch, 2012. "The paradox of voting intelligently," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 511-524, March.
  3. Panu Pelkonen, 2012. "Length of compulsory education and voter turnout—evidence from a staged reform," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 51-75, January.
  4. Kevin Denny & Orla Doyle, 2006. "Does Voting History Matter? Analysing Persistence in Turnout," Working Papers 200607, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.

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