Victory margins and the paradox of voting
This paper addresses a simple question: why do people vote? Though simple, this question remains unanswered despite the considerable attention it has received. In this paper, I show that purely rational-instrumental factors explain a large fraction of turnout variations, provided that the effect of the margin of victory on implemented policy is considered. I extend Myerson's models of elections based on Poisson games, and show that, when platforms are responsive to vote shares, the predictions of the model become consistent with several stylized facts, including the secular fall in turnout rates in the US. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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