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Mobilization, cost of voting and turnout: a natural randomized experiment with double elections

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  • Christine Fauvelle-Aymar

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  • Abel François

    ()

Abstract

This article uses a peculiarity of French local elections to test the influence of mobilization factors and the cost of voting on electoral turnout. At local elections, half of the constituencies have to vote in a single election (regional elections), whereas the other half cast two ballots (a departmental election and a regional election). Since these two categories of constituencies are distributed randomly, this context provides the conditions of a natural randomized experiment. Comparison of the turnout rates in both types of constituencies allows us to assess in a particularly robust way the significant impacts of mobilization activities and of the cost of voting on turnout in the context of double ballots. We estimate the average impact of an additional election at the national level on turnout to be around four percentage points, but this impact is much higher at the local level. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Christine Fauvelle-Aymar & Abel François, 2015. "Mobilization, cost of voting and turnout: a natural randomized experiment with double elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(1), pages 183-199, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:162:y:2015:i:1:p:183-199
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-014-0212-0
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-014-0212-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christine Fauvelle-Aymar & Abel François, 2006. "The impact of closeness on turnout: An empirical relation based on a study of a two-round ballot," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 461-483, June.
    2. Robert Tollison & Mark Crain & Paul Pautler, 1975. "Information and voting: An empirical note," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 43-49, December.
    3. Gerber, Alan S. & Green, Donald P., 2000. "The Effects of Canvassing, Telephone Calls, and Direct Mail on Voter Turnout: A Field Experiment," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 94(3), pages 653-663, September.
    4. 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.
    5. Riker, William H. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1968. "A Theory of the Calculus of Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 25-42, March.
    6. Riker, William H. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1968. "A Theory of the Calculus of Voting," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 25-42, March.
    7. John Filer & Lawrence Kenny, 1980. "Voter turnout and the benefits of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(5), pages 575-585, January.
    8. R. Tollison & T. Willett, 1973. "Some simple economics of voting and not voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 59-71, September.
    9. Cox, Gary W. & Munger, Michael C., 1989. "Closeness, Expenditures, and Turnout in the 1982 U.S. House Elections," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(1), pages 217-231, March.
    10. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
    11. Garey Durden & Patricia Gaynor, 1987. "The rational behavior theory of voting participation: Evidence from the 1970 and 1982 elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 231-242, January.
    12. John Carter, 1984. "Early projections and voter turnout in the 1980 presidential election," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 195-202, January.
    13. Alan Gerber & Donald Green, 2000. "The effects of canvassing, direct mail, and telephone contact on voter turnout: A field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00248, The Field Experiments Website.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. repec:ags:jrapmc:262579 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:taf:regstd:v:51:y:2017:i:4:p:575-585 is not listed on IDEAS

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