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Voter turnout and the size of government

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  • Aggeborn, Linuz

Abstract

This paper uses Swedish and Finnish municipal data to investigate the effect of changes in voter turnout on the tax rate, public spending and vote-shares. A reform in Sweden in 1970, which overall lowered the cost of voting, is applied as an instrument for voter turnout in local elections. The reform increased voter turnout in Sweden. The higher voter turnout resulted in higher municipal taxes and greater per capita local public spending. There are also indications that higher turnout decreased the vote share for right-wing parties. I use an individual survey data set to conclude that it was in particular low income earners that began to vote to a greater extent after the reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Aggeborn, Linuz, 2016. "Voter turnout and the size of government," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 29-40.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:43:y:2016:i:c:p:29-40
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2016.01.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rainald Borck, 2018. "Political Participation and the Welfare State," CESifo Working Paper Series 7128, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voter turnout; Local public finance; Sweden; Finland;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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