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The Institutional and Political Factors That Influence Voter Turnout


  • Merrifield, John


State data were used to develop an econometric model of voter turnout for an off year (1982) general election. The premise of the research was that existing voter turnout models lacked some of the true explanatory variables. In particular, the political efficacy component of the decision to vote was believed to be underrepresented in those models. Previously untested institutional, political, and weather variables proved to be significant explanatory variables. Many variables that were significant in previous studies were not significant in the 1982 general election analysis. 91 percent of the variation in voter turnout was explained, a significant improvement over previous efforts. Since the values of many of the variables are directly chosen by elected officials, the model provides policymakers with a menu of opportunities for boosting voter turnout. Copyright 1993 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Merrifield, John, 1993. "The Institutional and Political Factors That Influence Voter Turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(3), pages 657-667, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:77:y:1993:i:3:p:657-67

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    16. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Roberto Perotti & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Electoral Systems and Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 609-657.
    17. World Bank, 2003. "World Development Indicators 2003," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13920, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michelsen, Claus & Bönisch, Peter & Rosenfeld, Martin T. W., 2010. "Sharing Competences: The Impact of Local Institutional Settings on Voter Turnout," IWH Discussion Papers 21/2010, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    2. Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, 2013. "It’s the weather, stupid! Individual participation in collective May Day demonstrations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 251-271, June.
    3. Wiberg, Magnus, 2011. "Political participation, regional policy and the location of industry," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 465-475, September.

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