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An institutional analysis of voter turnout: the role of primary type and the expressive and instrumental voting hypotheses

  • Peter Calcagno

    ()

  • Christopher Westley

    ()

Recent events highlight primary type as an institutional variable that merits further examination in the economics literature on voter turnout. Using panel data for U.S. gubernatorial elections and treating primary type as a proxy for candidate deviation from the median voter, we test whether primary type changes voter turnout and whether that change is dominated by instrumental or expressive voting. The results show that states with more open primaries tend to have greater voter turnout in general elections and that this increase reflects the effect of open primaries on expressive voting.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10602-007-9034-0
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Constitutional Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 19 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 94-110

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Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:19:y:2008:i:2:p:94-110
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  1. Gerber, Elisabeth R & Morton, Rebecca B, 1998. "Primary Election Systems and Representation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 304-24, October.
  2. Christopher Westley & Peter T. Calcagno & Richard Ault, 2004. "Primary Election Systems and Candidate Deviation," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 365-376, Summer.
  3. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. " Explaining Voter Turnout Patterns: An Information Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 84(1-2), pages 91-117, July.
  4. Brennan, Geoffrey & Hamlin, Alan, 1998. " Expressive Voting and Electoral Equilibrium," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 149-75, April.
  5. Copeland, Cassandra & Laband, David N, 2002. " Expressiveness and Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(3-4), pages 351-63, March.
  6. Cherry, Todd L & Kroll, Stephan, 2003. " Crashing the Party: An Experimental Investigation of Strategic Voting in Primary Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 114(3-4), pages 387-420, March.
  7. Matsusaka, John G & Palda, Filip, 1999. " Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 431-46, March.
  8. Matsusaka, John G, 1993. " Election Closeness and Voter Turnout: Evidence from California Ballot Propositions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 313-34, August.
  9. Tim Besley, 2002. "Political institutions and policy choices: evidence from the United States," IFS Working Papers W02/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. R. Tollison & T. Willett, 1973. "Some simple economics of voting and not voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 59-71, September.
  11. Stephen Drinkwater & Colin Jennings, 2007. "Who are the expressive voters?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 179-189, July.
  12. John Ashworth & Benny Geys & Bruno Heyndels, 2006. "Everyone likes a winner: An empirical test of the effect of electoral closeness on turnout in a context of expressive voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 383-405, September.
  13. Jac C. Heckelman, 2004. "A Spatial Model of U.S. Senate Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 118(1_2), pages 87-103, 01.
  14. Peter Kennedy, 2003. "A Guide to Econometrics, 5th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 5, volume 1, number 026261183x, June.
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