Campaigning in Direct Democracies: Initiative Petition Signing, Voter Turnout, and Acceptance
AbstractThis paper investigates whether petition signing campaigns for popular initiatives constitute a partisan campaigning instrument by revealing potentially relevant information to the signer which increases the benefit from voting or reduces its cost. The analysis is based on the complete sample of Swiss federal initiatives between 1978 and 2000 with aggregate voting data at state level. The results suggest that initiatives collecting many signatures yield higher approval rates at the polls. Petition signing is, however, not significantly related to turnout, and is dominated by initiative-specific characteristics. To show that the relation between signatures collected and acceptance reflects a causal campaigning effect, several approaches are pursued to control for voter preferences which potentially could drive both signatures and acceptance rates. This research relates to turnout and voting literature in general, and to campaigning and voter motivation more specifically. Further, it extends a small stream of literature analyzing signature collection for initiatives.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1333.
Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Direct democracy; Initiatives; Signatures; Campaigning; Turnout; Voting; Information;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-11-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2013-11-22 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2013-11-22 (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.:
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