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Social Norms and the Paradox of Elections’ Turnout

  • João Amaro de Matos

    ()

  • Pedro Barros

    ()

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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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-004-2251-4
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 121 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 239-255

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:121:y:2004:i:1:p:239-255
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  1. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
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  11. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  12. Harbaugh, W T, 1996. " If People Vote Because They Like to, Then Why Do So Many of Them Lie?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(1-2), pages 63-76, October.
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  15. Ianni, Antonella & Corradi, Valentina, 2000. "Consensus, contagion and clustering in a space-time model of public opinion formation," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0009, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  16. Feddersen, Timothy J & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1996. "The Swing Voter's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 408-24, June.
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  18. Sieg, Gernot & Schulz, Christof, 1995. " Evolutionary Dynamics in the Voting Game," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 85(1-2), pages 157-72, October.
  19. Fain, James & Dworkin, James B, 1993. " Determinants of Voter Participation: Some Simulation Results," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 823-34, December.
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