Electoral rules and voter turnout
The paper investigates the effect of electoral rules on voter turnout. It focuses on Italian municipalities, where a single ballot system applies to municipalities with less than 15,000 inhabitants, while a dual ballot system applies above that threshold. By exploiting this discontinuity, the paper finds that the dual ballot increases participation at the local polls by about 1 percentage point. The increase in voter turnout is associated with broader political representation, higher quality politicians, and greater fiscal discipline. Finally, we document that the higher political participation triggered by local electoral rules extends to nationwide voting contexts.
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Volume (Year): 36 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
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