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Voter Turnout and Political Rents

Listed author(s):
  • Amrita Dillon
  • GANI ALDASHEV

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.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jpet.12141
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Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 17 (2015)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 528-552

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:17:y:2015:i:4:p:528-552
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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2005. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1283-1330.
  2. Mulligan, Casey B & Hunter, Charles G, 2003. "The Empirical Frequency of a Pivotal Vote," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(1-2), pages 31-54, July.
  3. Patricia Funk, 2010. "Social Incentives and Voter Turnout: Evidence from the Swiss Mail Ballot System," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1077-1103, September.
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  9. Godefroy, Raphael & Henry, Emeric, 2016. "Voter turnout and fiscal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 389-406.
  10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Rafael Hortala-Vallve & Berta Esteve-Volart, 2011. "Voter turnout in a multidimensional policy space," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 25-49, March.
  12. Toke S. Aidt, 2003. "Economic analysis of corruption: a survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages 632-652, November.
  13. repec:cup:apsrev:v:105:y:2011:i:01:p:79-99_00 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Maria Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2011. "Political competition and politician quality: evidence from Italian municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 547-559, September.
  15. Hortala-Vallve, Rafael & Esteve-Volart, Berta, 2011. "Voter turnout and electoral competition in a multidimensional policy space," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 376-384, June.
  16. Humberto Llavador, 2006. "Electoral Platforms, Implemented Policies, and Abstention," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(1), pages 55-81, August.
  17. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, December.
  18. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. "Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-446, March.
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