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Influences on the Voter Participation Rate

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  • Richard J. Cebula

Abstract

This study empirically investigates the potential impact of political action committee (PAC) election campaign contributions and other factors on the aggregate voter participation rate in the United States. For the study period 1960-1998, the aggregate voter participation rate appears to have been positively and significantly affected by the opportunity to vote in presidential elections and by the Vietnam War, as well as by "excessive" inflation and slow real GDP growth. The latter two findings of this study appear to be unique to this literature. In addition, the Watergate scandal and increased public dissatisfaction with government appear to have significantly discouraged voter participation. Finally, there appears to be strong evidence that PAC congressional election campaign contributions may have also acted to reduce the voter participation rate over the study period, a finding that also is unique to this study. Copyright 2007 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Richard J. Cebula, 2007. "Influences on the Voter Participation Rate," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 399-412, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:66:y:2007:i:2:p:399-412
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Erte Xiao & Daniel Houser, 2007. "Emotion Expression and Fairness in Economic Exchange," Working Papers 1004, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised Nov 2007.
    2. Houser, Daniel & Morton, Rebecca & Stratmann, Thomas, 2011. "Turned on or turned out? Campaign advertising, information and voting," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 708-727.

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