Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation
Using state-by-state voting data for U.S. presidential elections, the authors observe that voter turnout is a positive function of predicted closeness. To explain the strategic component of political participation, they develop a follow-the-leader model. Political leaders expend effort according to their chance of being pivotal, which depends on the expected closeness of the race (at both state and national levels) and how voters respond to their effort. Structural estimation supports this model. For example, a 1 percent increase in the predicted closeness at the state level stimulates leaders' efforts, which increases turnout by 0.34 percent.
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Volume (Year): 89 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
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