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Strong Presidential Approval or Disapproval Influencing the Expected Benefits of Voting and the Voter Participation Rate

  • Richard Cebula

This empirical study seeks to broaden the interpretation of the rational voter model so as to identify and better understand key determinants of the expected benefits from voting and hence key determinants of the aggregate voter participation rate in the US. Using annual data for all years in the 1960–1997 study period, this study finds that the voter participation rate has been positively impacted by strong public approval or strong public disapproval of the incumbent President, a finding unique to this literature and study period. In addition, the aggregate voter participation rate has been positively impacted by such factors as the Gulf War, which is generally regarded as having been popular among the US electorate, and a rising unemployment rate. This study also finds the voter participation rate to have been negatively impacted by the public’s dissatisfaction with government, as well as by the Watergate scandal. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2005

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11293-005-3760-3
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Article provided by International Atlantic Economic Society in its journal Atlantic Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 33 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 159-167

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Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:33:y:2005:i:2:p:159-167
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  1. Lapp, Miriam, 1999. " Incorporating Groups into Rational Choice Explanations of Turnout: An Empirical Test," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(1-2), pages 171-85, January.
  2. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
  3. Milton Kafoglis & Richard Cebula, 1981. "The Buchanan-Tullock model: Some extensions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 179-186, January.
  4. Richard Cebula, 2003. "Tax evasion as ade facto vote of disapproval of PAC contributions," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 31(4), pages 338-347, December.
  5. Cebula, Richard & Kafoglis, Milton, 1982. "In Search of Optimum "Relative Unanimity"," MPRA Paper 51015, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 625018000000000232, www.najecon.org.
  7. Greene, Kenneth V & Nikolaev, Oleg, 1999. " Voter Participation and the Redistributive State," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(1-2), pages 213-26, January.
  8. Barry Nalebuff & Roni Shachar, 1997. "Follow The Leader: Theory And Evidence On Political Participation," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm57, Yale School of Management.
  9. Ashenfelter, Orley C & Kelley, Stanley, Jr, 1975. "Determinants of Participation in Presidential Elections," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 695-733, December.
  10. Richard Cebula, 2004. "Expressiveness and voting: Alternative evidence," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 32(3), pages 216-221, September.
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