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Social Norms and the Paradox of Elections’ Turnout

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  • João Amaro de Matos
  • Pedro Barros

Abstract

People vote although their marginal gain from voting is zero.We contribute to the resolution of this paradox by presentinga model for equilibrium configuration of attitudes regardingthe decision to vote. Each individual is seen as an element ofa social network, within which pairs of individuals expressideas and attitudes, exerting mutual influence. We model therole of such networks in propagating the mutual influenceacross pairs of individuals. We show that it may suffice thata small set of individuals have a strong feeling about showingup to vote to generate a significant turnout in elections. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

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  • João Amaro de Matos & Pedro Barros, 2004. "Social Norms and the Paradox of Elections’ Turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 239-255, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:121:y:2004:i:1:p:239-255
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-004-2251-4
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    Cited by:

    1. Kauder, Björn & Potrafke, Niklas, 2015. "Just hire your spouse! Evidence from a political scandal in Bavaria," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 42-54.
    2. Massimiliano Landi & Mauro Sodini, 2010. "Conformism and Turnout," Working Papers 24-2010, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    3. Yörük Bariş K., 2015. "Do Charitable Subsidies Crowd Out Political Giving? The Missing Link between Charitable and Political Contributions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(1), pages 1-29, January.
    4. Landi, M. & Sodini, M., 2012. "An evolutionary analysis of turnout with conformist citizens," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1431-1447.
    5. Hillman, Arye L. & Metsuyanim, Kfir & Potrafke, Niklas, 2015. "Democracy with group identity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 274-287.
    6. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2014. "Just Hire your Spouse! Evidence from a Political Scandal in Bavaria," CESifo Working Paper Series 4813, CESifo.
    7. Fosco, Constanza & Laruelle, Annick & Sánchez, Angel, 2009. "Turnout Intention and Social Networks," IKERLANAK 2009-34, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    8. Baris Yoruk, 2013. "Are Generous People More Likely to Vote?," Discussion Papers 13-10, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    9. Fosco, Constanza & Laruelle, Annick & Sánchez, Angel, 2009. "Turnout Intention and Social Networks," IKERLANAK 2009-34, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    10. Aggeborn, Linuz, 2016. "Voter turnout and the size of government," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 29-40.

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