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A Theory of Participation in Elections

Author

Listed:
  • Timothy Feddersen
  • Alvaro Sandroni

Abstract

We analyze a model of participation in elections in which voting is costly and no vote is pivotal. Ethical agents are motivated to participate when they determine that agents of their type are obligated to do so. Unlike previous duty-based models of participation, in our model an ethical agent\'s obligation to vote is determined endogenously as a function of the behavior of other agents. Our model predicts high turnout and comparative statics that are consistent with strategic behavior. (JEL D72)

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Feddersen & Alvaro Sandroni, 2006. "A Theory of Participation in Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1271-1282, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:4:p:1271-1282
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.4.1271
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Barry Nalebuff & Ron Shachar, 1999. "Follow the Leader: Theory and Evidence on Political Participation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 525-547, June.
    2. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
    3. Timothy Feddersen & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1997. "Voting Behavior and Information Aggregation in Elections with Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1029-1058, September.
    4. Tilman Borgers, 2004. "Costly Voting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Taylor, Curtis & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2005. "Public Information and Electoral Bias," Working Papers 05-11, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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