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Voter Turnout and Political Rents

Author

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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. repec:eee:ecolet:v:158:y:2017:i:c:p:10-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Federico Revelli, 2016. "Tax limits and local elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 53-68, January.
    7. Lo Prete, Anna & Revelli, Federico, 2017. "Costly voting, turnout, and candidate valence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 10-13.
    8. Fernanda Leite Lopez Leon & Renata Rizzi, 2016. "Does forced voting result in political polarization?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 143-160, January.

    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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