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Voting when the stakes are high

Author

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  • Andersen, Jørgen Juel
  • Fiva, Jon H.
  • Natvik, Gisle James

Abstract

Most theories of voter behavior predict that electoral participation will be higher in elections where more is at stake. We test this prediction by studying how participation is affected by exogenous variation in local governments' financial flexibility to provide pork for their voters. Utilizing simultaneous elections for different offices, we identify a positive effect of election stakes on participation: Higher stakes at the local level increase participation at the local relative to the regional election. Survey evidence indicates that the underlying mechanism relates to citizens' acquisition of information.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersen, Jørgen Juel & Fiva, Jon H. & Natvik, Gisle James, 2014. "Voting when the stakes are high," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 157-166.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:110:y:2014:i:c:p:157-166
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.10.003
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Elsayyad, May & Konrad, Kai A., 2012. "Fighting multiple tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 295-305.
    2. Fiva, Jon H. & Halse, Askill H., 2016. "Local favoritism in at-large proportional representation systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 15-26.
    3. Borge, Lars-Erik & Parmer, Pernille & Torvik, Ragnar, 2015. "Local natural resource curse?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 101-114.
    4. Fiva, Jon H. & Folke, Olle, 2016. "Mechanical and Psychological Effects of Electoral Reform," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 265-279, April.
    5. Felix Arnold, 2015. "Turnout and Closeness: Evidence from 60 Years of Bavarian Mayoral Elections," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1462, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. repec:kap:pubcho:v:171:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11127-016-0399-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Federico Revelli, 2013. "Tax limits and local democracy," Working Papers 2013/29, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    8. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke & Rune J. Sørensen, 2013. "The Power of Parties," CESifo Working Paper Series 4119, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. repec:eee:pubeco:v:152:y:2017:i:c:p:47-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:spr:italej:v:3:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40797-017-0050-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Federico Revelli, 2016. "Tax limits and local elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 53-68, January.
    12. Lyytikäinen, Teemu & Tukiainen, Janne, 2013. "Are Voters Rational?," Working Papers 50, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    13. Federico Revelli, 2017. "Voter Turnout in Italian Municipal Elections, 2002–2013," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 3(2), pages 151-165, July.
    14. Peter Bönisch & Benny Geys & Claus Michelsen, 2015. "David and Goliath in the Poll Booth: Group Size, Voting Power and Voter Turnout," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1491, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    15. Johannes Meya & Panu Poutvaara & Robert Schwager, 2015. "Pocketbook Voting and Social Preferences in Referenda," CESifo Working Paper Series 5267, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Claus Michelsen & Peter Boenisch & Benny Geys, 2014. "(De)Centralization and voter turnout: theory and evidence from German municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 469-483, June.
    17. Garmann, Sebastian, 2016. "Concurrent elections and turnout: Causal estimates from a German quasi-experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 167-178.
    18. Garmann, Sebastian, 2017. "Election frequency, choice fatigue, and voter turnout," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 19-35.
    19. Geys, Benny, 2012. "Success and failure in electoral competition: Selective issue emphasis under incomplete issue ownership," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2012-102, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voter motivation; Electoral participation; Roll-off; Pork barrel spending;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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