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Determinants of Geographic Differentials in the Voter Participation Rate

  • Richard Cebula
  • Michael Toma

Voter participation rates vary widely across the 50 states. This empirical study seeks, within the context of a broadened version of the ‘rational voter model,’ to identify determinants of this interstate variation. Using the 2004 general election as the study period, it is found that the voter participation rate in a state is positively related to the percent of the state's adult population with at least a high school education, the state's unemployment rate, the percent of the state's population age 65 and older, and the female labor force participation rate in the state. In addition, it is found that voter turnout in a state is negatively related to the state's median family income and the percentage of its population that is Hispanic. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2006

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11293-006-6118-6
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Article provided by International Atlantic Economic Society in its journal Atlantic Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 34 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 33-40

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Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:34:y:2006:i:1:p:33-40
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  1. Kafoglis, Milton & Cebula, Richard, 1980. "The Buchanan-Tullock Model: Some Extensions," MPRA Paper 51216, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Cebula, Richard & Kafoglis, Milton, 1982. "In Search of Optimum "Relative Unanimity"," MPRA Paper 51015, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Tilman Börgers, 2001. "Costly Voting," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000232, David K. Levine.
  4. 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.
  5. Tullock, Gordon, 1971. "Public Decisions as Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 913-18, July-Aug..
  6. 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.
  7. Katherine Swartz, 2003. "Reinsuring Risk to Increase Access to Health Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 283-287, May.
  8. Richard Cebula, 2004. "Expressiveness and voting: Alternative evidence," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 32(3), pages 216-221, September.
  9. 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.
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