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Voter Turnout and Political Rents

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  • Amrita Dillon
  • GANI ALDASHEV

Abstract

Is the decline in voter turnout an indicator of a worse health of a representative democracy? We build a simple probabilistic-voting model with endogenous turnout to address this question. We find that a lower turnout caused by a higher cost of voting implies higher political rents. Contrarily, a lower turnout caused by a higher ideological mobility of voters or by a lower expressive benefit of voting implies lower political rents. If voters have a civic-duty motive to vote that depends on the level of rents, multiple equilibria (a high-rents low-turnout and a low-rents high-turnout) arise.

Suggested Citation

  • Amrita Dillon & GANI ALDASHEV, 2015. "Voter Turnout and Political Rents," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(4), pages 528-552, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:17:y:2015:i:4:p:528-552
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jpet.12141
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    Cited by:

    1. Godefroy, Raphael & Henry, Emeric, 2016. "Voter turnout and fiscal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 389-406.
    2. Revelli, Federico, 2013. "Tax Limits and Local Democracy," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201336, University of Turin.
    3. León, Gianmarco, 2017. "Turnout, political preferences and information: Experimental evidence from Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 56-71.
    4. Revelli, Federico, 2013. "Tax Limits and Local Democracy," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201336, University of Turin.
    5. Lo Prete, Anna & Revelli, Federico, 2014. "Voter Turnout and City Performance," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201435, University of Turin.
    6. Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Heggedal, Tom-Reiel, 2019. "Political rents and voter information in search equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 146-168.
    7. Daryna Grechyna, 2020. "Technological Progress and Political Disengagement," ThE Papers 20/04, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    8. Lo Prete, Anna & Revelli, Federico, 2017. "Costly voting, turnout, and candidate valence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 10-13.
    9. Federico Revelli, 2016. "Tax limits and local elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 53-68, January.
    10. Fernanda Leite Lopez Leon & Renata Rizzi, 2016. "Does forced voting result in political polarization?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 143-160, January.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

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