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Economic performance and turnout at national and local elections

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  • Rodrigo Martins
  • Francisco Veiga

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of economic performance on voter turnout. We estimate an economic turnout model in which local economic variables are included in quadratic form, so that non-linear effects can be taken into account. We use panel datasets covering municipalities, from 1979 to 2005, and cross-sections of parishes (freguesias) to analyze the determinants of turnout at Portuguese municipal and legislative elections. The empirical results indicate that the performance of the national economy is important only in legislative elections and that the regional and local unemployment rates tend to have non-linear relationships to turnout. The results obtained for Flemish municipalities also provide evidence in favor of a non-linear effect of unemployment on turnout. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Rodrigo Martins & Francisco Veiga, 2013. "Economic performance and turnout at national and local elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 429-448, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:157:y:2013:i:3:p:429-448
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-012-0047-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Radcliff, Benjamin, 1992. "The Welfare State, Turnout, and the Economy: A Comparative Analysis," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 86(2), pages 444-454, June.
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    3. Hamlin, Alan & Jennings, Colin, 2011. "Expressive Political Behaviour: Foundations, Scope and Implications," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 645-670, July.
    4. Powell, G. Bingham, 1986. "American Voter Turnout in Comparative Perspective," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(1), pages 17-43, March.
    5. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    6. Jackman, Robert W., 1987. "Political Institutions and Voter Turnout in the Industrial Democracies," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 405-423, June.
    7. James M. Buchanan, 1954. "Individual Choice in Voting and the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 334-334.
    8. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    9. Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
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    Cited by:

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    5. Larch, Martin & Orseau, Eloïse & van der Wielen, Wouter, 2021. "Do EU fiscal rules support or hinder counter-cyclical fiscal policy?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Turnout; Local governments; Elections; Economic conditions; D72; H7;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

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