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The Strategic Timing Of Direct Democracy

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  • MARC MEREDITH

Abstract

This paper focuses on the strategic timing of elections by agenda-setters in direct democracy settings. Because concurrent elections affect turnout, scheduling referenda for different elections will produce different median voters. I hypothesize that agenda-setters with power over the timing of a referendum will schedule the referendum in conjunction with the other set of races that produce a policy closest to their preferred outcome. Consistent with the theory, I show that Wisconsin school boards' use of special elections for school referenda are related to differences in the revealed preferences of voters in low- and high-turnout elections. Copyright 2009 The Author. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Marc Meredith, 2009. "The Strategic Timing Of Direct Democracy," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 159-177, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:21:y:2009:i:1:p:159-177
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daniel Rubinfeld & Randall Thomas, 1980. "On the economics of voter turnout in local school elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 315-331, January.
    2. Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1977. "Voting in a Local School Election: A Micro Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(1), pages 30-42, February.
    3. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1978. "Political resource allocation, controlled agendas, and the status quo," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 27-43, December.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Dunne, Stephanie & Reed, W Robert & Wilbanks, James, 1997. "Endogenizing the Median Voter: Public Choice Goes to School," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(1-2), pages 99-118, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Garmann, Sebastian, 2016. "Concurrent elections and turnout: Causal estimates from a German quasi-experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 167-178.
    2. Isen, Adam, 2014. "Do local government fiscal spillovers exist? Evidence from counties, municipalities, and school districts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 57-73.

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