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Time to vote?

Author

Listed:
  • John Gibson
  • Bonggeun Kim
  • Steven Stillman
  • Geua Boe-Gibson

Abstract

Despite the centrality of voting costs to the paradox of voting, little effort has been made to measure these costs accurately, outside of a few spatially limited case studies. In this paper, we apply Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools to validated national election survey data from New Zealand. We calculate distance and travel time by road from the place of residence to the nearest polling place and combine our time estimate with imputed wages for all sample members. Using this new measure of the opportunity cost of voting to predict turnout at the individual level, we find that small increases in the opportunity costs of time can have large effects in reducing voter turnout. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • John Gibson & Bonggeun Kim & Steven Stillman & Geua Boe-Gibson, 2013. "Time to vote?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 517-536, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:156:y:2013:i:3:p:517-536
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-011-9909-5
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    Cited by:

    1. Niklas Potrafke & Felix Roesel, 2020. "Opening hours of polling stations and voter turnout: Evidence from a natural experiment," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 133-163, January.
    2. Guillem Riambau & Steven Stillman & Geua Boe-Gibson, 2021. "What determines preferences for an electoral system? Evidence from a binding referendum," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(1), pages 179-208, January.
    3. Christine Fauvelle-Aymar & Abel François, 2018. "Place of registration and place of residence: the non-linear detrimental impact of transportation cost on electoral participation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 176(3), pages 405-440, September.
    4. Roland Hodler & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2015. "The Effects of Voting Costs on the Democratic Process and Public Finances," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 141-171, February.
    5. Tim Powlowski & Dennis Coates, 2013. "The habit for voting, “civic duty” and travel distance," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 13-05, UMBC Department of Economics.
    6. Fredriksson, Anders, 2017. "Location-allocation of public services – Citizen access, transparency and measurement. A method and evidence from Brazil and Sweden," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-12.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    D7; R4; Opportunity cost; Paradox of voting; Travel time;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics

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