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Abstention in Daylight: Strategic Calculus of Voting in the European Parliament

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  • Abdul Noury

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Abstract

As in large elections, substantialabstention is frequently observed inlegislative assemblies. This paper analyzesroll call votes from the third and fourthlegislatures (1989–1999) of the EuropeanParliament to test predictions from threetypes of theories of abstention: (1)decision-theoretic approach of RationalChoice theory, (2) game-theoretic approachof Rational Choice theory, and (3) theSwing Voter’s Curse theory. The resultsindicate that closeness significantlydecreases the rate of abstention. Thefindings also show that an increase in theprobability of being in the majorityincreases turnout. Overall, findings aresupportive of the decision-theoreticapproach of Rational Choice theory butnot of the game-theoretic approach toabstention or the Swing Voter’s Cursetheory. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Abdul Noury, 2004. "Abstention in Daylight: Strategic Calculus of Voting in the European Parliament," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 179-211, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:121:y:2004:i:1:p:179-211 DOI: 10.1007/s11127-004-9221-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abdul Noury, 2000. "Ideology, Nationality and Euro-Parliamentarians," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1285, Econometric Society.
    2. Roger B. Myerson, 1998. "Population uncertainty and Poisson games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, pages 375-392.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 408-424.
    5. Chamberlain, Gary & Rothschild, Michael, 1981. "A note on the probability of casting a decisive vote," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 152-162, August.
    6. Matthew Rabin & Richard H. Thaler, 2001. "Anomalies: Risk Aversion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 219-232, Winter.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:68:y:1974:i:02:p:525-536_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Abdul G. Noury & Gérard Roland, 2002. "More power to the European Parliament?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 279-319, October.
    9. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:79:y:1985:i:01:p:62-78_22 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Battaglini & Rebecca B. Morton & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2010. "The Swing Voter's Curse in the Laboratory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 61-89.
    2. Marco Faravelli & Santiago Sanchez-Pages, 2015. "(Don’t) Make My Vote Count," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 27(4), pages 544-569, October.
    3. Richard Cebula & Franklin Mixon, 2012. "Dodging the vote?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 325-343, February.
    4. Emanuele Bracco & Federico Revelli, 2017. "Concurrent Elections and Political Accountability: Evidence from Italian Local Elections," Working papers 56, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    5. Erte Xiao & Daniel Houser, 2007. "Emotion Expression and Fairness in Economic Exchange," Working Papers 1004, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised Nov 2007.
    6. Jacobi, Tonja & Kontorovich, Eugene, 2015. "Why judges always vote," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 190-199.

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