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(De)Centralization and voter turnout: theory and evidence from German municipalities

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  • Claus Michelsen
  • Peter Boenisch
  • Benny Geys

    ()

Abstract

A vast academic literature illustrates that voter turnout is affected by the institutional design of elections (e.g., compulsory voting, electoral system, postal or Sunday voting). In this article, we exploit a simple Downsian theoretical framework to argue that the institutional framework of public good provision—and, in particular, the distribution of political and administrative competences across government levels—likewise affects voters’ turnout decisions by influencing the expected net benefit of voting. Empirically, we exploit the institutional variation across German municipalities to test this proposition, and find supportive evidence. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Claus Michelsen & Peter Boenisch & Benny Geys, 2014. "(De)Centralization and voter turnout: theory and evidence from German municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 469-483, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:159:y:2014:i:3:p:469-483
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-013-0061-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Federico Revelli, 2013. "Tax limits and local democracy," Working Papers 2013/29, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. repec:spr:italej:v:3:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40797-017-0050-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Federico Revelli, 2016. "Tax limits and local elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 53-68, January.
    4. Federico Revelli, 2017. "Voter Turnout in Italian Municipal Elections, 2002–2013," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 3(2), pages 151-165, July.
    5. Peter Bönisch & Benny Geys & Claus Michelsen, 2015. "David and Goliath in the Poll Booth: Group Size, Voting Power and Voter Turnout," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1491, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Blesse Sebastian & Rösel Felix, 2017. "Was bringen kommunale Gebietsreformen?: Kausale Evidenz zu Hoffnungen, Risiken und alternativen Instrumenten," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 18(4), pages 307-324, November.
    7. repec:taf:regstd:v:51:y:2017:i:4:p:575-585 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Revelli, Federico, 2013. "Tax Limits and Local Democracy," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201336, University of Turin.
    9. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1303-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Garmann, Sebastian, 2016. "Concurrent elections and turnout: Causal estimates from a German quasi-experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 167-178.
    11. Sebastian Blesse & Felix Rösel, 2017. "Gebietsreformen: Hoffnungen, Risiken und Alternativen," ifo Working Paper Series 234, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    D70; D72; H11; H40; Voter turnout; Institutions; Federalism; Paradox of voting;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General

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